STAND. COM. REP. NO. 34
RE: S.B. No. 753
Honorable Ronald D. Kouchi
President of the Senate
Thirtieth State Legislature
Regular Session of 2019
State of Hawaii
Your Committee on Agriculture and Environment, to which was referred S.B. No. 753 entitled:
"A BILL FOR AN ACT RELATING TO AQUACULTURE,"
begs leave to report as follows:
The purpose and intent of this measure is to appropriate funds for operational expenses to revitalize the aquaculture development program.
Your Committee received testimony in support of this measure from Department of Agriculture, Land Use Research Foundation of Hawai‘i, Maui County Farm Bureau, Hawaii Aquaculture & Aquaponics Association, O‘ahu County Committee on Legislative Priorities of the Democratic Party of Hawai‘i, Hawai‘i Farm Bureau, and nine individuals. Your Committee received testimony in opposition to this measure from one individual. Your Committee received comments on this measure from one individual.
Your Committee finds that the aquaculture development program played a large part in creating an industry that, starting from almost zero in the 1970s, now generates more than $70,000,000 annually and was an innovative program that assisted prospective farmers, investors, and technology companies in many ways, including providing technical assistance, help with site selection and permitting, and product and services marketing. However, despite its success, the aquaculture development program has been reduced in staff and function and was folded into the Animal Industries Division of the Department of Agriculture. The aquaculture development program continues to be downsized due to a lack of funding.
Your Committee further finds that aquaculture is poised to make a significant contribution to the Governor's goal of doubling local food production. Dedicated funds will allow for investment in foundational infrastructure and research, including helping farmers use research-based knowledge, achieving greater benefits for the Hawaii economy, providing healthy seafood for local markets and export, generating jobs, complementing tourism, and maintaining rural communities.
Your Committee finds that appropriating $500,000 to the Department of Agriculture for the purpose of revitalizing the aquaculture development program through, for example, increased staffing, information dissemination to the aquaculture industry, assistance with siting and permitting, and aquatic disease prevention services, is consistent with the purpose and intent of this measure.
Your Committee has amended this measure by:
(1) Inserting an appropriation amount of $500,000 for fiscal year 2019-2020 and the same sum for fiscal year 2020-2021; and
(2) Making technical, nonsubstantive amendments for the purposes of clarity and consistency.
As affirmed by the record of votes of the members of your Committee on Agriculture and Environment that is attached to this report, your Committee is in accord with the intent and purpose of S.B. No. 753, as amended herein, and recommends that it pass Second Reading in the form attached hereto as S.B. No. 753, S.D. 1, and be referred to your Committee on Ways and Means.
Respectfully submitted on behalf of the members of the Committee on Agriculture and Environment,
MIKE GABBARD, Chair