STAND. COM. REP. NO. 629

 

Honolulu, Hawaii

 

RE: S.B. No. 685

S.D. 1

 

 

 

Honorable Ronald D. Kouchi

President of the Senate

Thirtieth State Legislature

Regular Session of 2019

State of Hawaii

 

Sir:

 

Your Committees on Agriculture and Environment and Water and Land, to which was referred S.B. No. 685 entitled:

 

"A BILL FOR AN ACT RELATING TO INVASIVE SPECIES,"

 

beg leave to report as follows:

 

The purpose and intent of this measure is to provide funds to establish invasive species technician positions for the Department of Land and Natural Resources' Division of Forestry and Wildlife in east Maui to control invasive species from negatively impacting the environment and economy.

 

Your Committees received testimony in support of this measure from the Department of Land and Natural Resources; Department of Agriculture; County of Maui Office of the Mayor; one member of the Maui County Council; The Nature Conservancy Hawaii; Oahu County Committee on Legislative Priorities of the Democratic Party of Hawaii; Hawaii Cattlemen's Council, Inc.; Hawaii Farm Bureau; Coastal Planners, LLC; and four individuals. Your Committees received testimony in opposition to this measure from Animal Rights Hawaii.

 

Your Committees find that the invasion of Hawaii by insects, disease-bearing organisms, snakes, weeds, and other pests is a serious threat to the State's economy and natural environment and to the health and lifestyle of the people of Hawaii. Pests already cause millions of dollars in crop losses, the extinction of native species, the destruction of native forests, and the spread of disease. It is estimated that approximately 37,000 acres throughout east Maui could contain miconia, which poses a threat to the local environment, cultural practices, and economy.

 

Your Committees further find that stopping the influx of new pests and containing their spread are essential to the State's current and future well-being.

 

Your Committees have amended this measure by:

 

(1) Inserting an appropriation amount of $2,000,000 for each fiscal year for five technician positions to address invasive species in Maui;

 

(2) Inserting a blank appropriation from Senate Bill 697, Regular Session of 2019, which relates to invasive species, for the Department of Land and Natural Resources to reduce and eradicate invasive species in Maui;

 

(3) Updating the purpose section; and

 

(4) Making technical, nonsubstantive amendments for the purposes of clarity and consistency.

 

As affirmed by the records of votes of the members of your Committees on Agriculture and Environment and Water and Land that are attached to this report, your Committees are in accord with the intent and purpose of S.B. No. 685, as amended herein, and recommend that it pass Second Reading in the form attached hereto as S.B. No. 685, S.D. 1, and be referred to your Committee on Ways and Means.

 

Respectfully submitted on behalf of the members of the Committees on Agriculture and Environment and Water and Land,

 

________________________________

KAIALI'I KAHELE, Chair

 

________________________________

MIKE GABBARD, Chair