STAND. COM. REP. NO. 611
RE: S.B. No. 751
Honorable Ronald D. Kouchi
President of the Senate
Thirtieth State Legislature
Regular Session of 2019
State of Hawaii
Your Committee on Water and Land, to which was referred S.B. No. 751 entitled:
"A BILL FOR AN ACT RELATING TO THE HAWAII ASSOCIATION OF CONSERVATION DISTRICTS,"
begs leave to report as follows:
The purpose and intent of this measure is to make an appropriation from the special land and development fund to the Department of Land and Natural Resources for the operational expenses and staffing costs of the Hawaii Association of Conservation Districts.
Your Committee received testimony in support of this measure from the Department of Agriculture; Hawai‘i Farm Bureau; Land Use Research Foundation of Hawaii; Ulupono Initiative, Hawaii Association of Conservation Districts; O‘ahu County Committee on Legislative Priorities of the Democratic Party of Hawai‘i; Oahu Resource Conservation & Development Council; Local Food Coalition; A'a Li'i Farm; Maui Farmers Union United; Maui Soil & Water Conservation Districts; Birds With Arms Farms; Auwahi Forest Restoration Project; Hawaii Coffee Association; Hawaii Crop Improvement Association; Larry Jefts Farms, LLC; Maui County Farm Bureau; Hawai‘i Forest Industry Association; and seventy-five individuals. Your Committee received comments on this measure from the Department of Land and Natural Resources.
Your Committee finds that the Hawaii Association of Conservation Districts consist of sixteen soil and water conservation districts throughout the State who work together in a variety of ways to help protect and sustain Hawaii's natural environment. The Hawaii Association of Conservation Districts continues to work closely with a variety of federal and State agencies including the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, United States Department of Agriculture's Natural Resources Conservation Service, University of Hawaii, and Hawaii State Department of Health. Your Committee further finds that due to funding shortages, the Hawaii Association of Conservation Districts has been limited in its ability to provide assistance to many farmers who can benefit from its services.
Your Committee has amended this measure by:
(1) Replacing the appropriation out of the special land and development fund with a line item in the budget of the Department of Land and Natural Resources under LNR 141 for the operational expenses and staffing costs of the Hawaii Association of Conservation Districts;
(2) Inserting a blank appropriation amount;
(3) Inserting an effective date of December 31, 2050, to encourage further discussion; and
(4) Making technical, nonsubstantive amendments for the purposes of clarity and consistency.
Your Committee notes that although the appropriation amount is blank, your Committee requests that your Committee on Ways and Means consider an appropriation of $500,000 for the operational expenses and staffing costs of the Hawaii Association of Conservation Districts.
As affirmed by the record of votes of the members of your Committee on Water and Land that is attached to this report, your Committee is in accord with the intent and purpose of S.B. No. 751, as amended herein, and recommends that it pass Second Reading in the form attached hereto as S.B. No. 751, S.D. 1, and be referred to your Committee on Ways and Means.
Respectfully submitted on behalf of the members of the Committee on Water and Land,
KAIALI'I KAHELE, Chair