STAND. COM. REP. NO. 3437
RE: H.B. No. 1861
Honorable Ronald D. Kouchi
President of the Senate
Thirtieth State Legislature
Regular Session of 2020
State of Hawaii
Your Committee on Agriculture and Environment, to which was referred H.B. No. 1861, H.D. 1, entitled:
"A BILL FOR AN ACT RELATING TO COFFEE BERRY BORER,"
begs leave to report as follows:
The purpose and intent of this measure is to:
(1) Extend the Pesticide Subsidy Program to June 30, 2025;
(2) Extend the Pesticide Subsidy Program Manager position and the position's civil service and collective bargaining laws exemption to June 30, 2026; and
(3) Appropriate funds for the Program and Program Manager position.
Your Committee received testimony in support of this measure from the Department of Agriculture, University of Hawaii System, Mayor of the County of Hawaii, Land Use Research Foundation of Hawaii, Hawaii Cattlemen's Council, Synergistic Hawaii Agriculture Council, Hawai‘i Farm Bureau, Maui Chamber of Commerce, Kona Coffee Farmers Association, Hawaii Coffee Association, Rancho Aloha Kona Coffee, and nine individuals.
Your Committee finds that coffee is a high value agricultural crop to local economy. According to testimony received by your Committee, a recent economic analysis by the College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources estimated that the coffee berry borer caused $7.68 million in crop losses and $571,000 in lost state tax revenues in the 2013 fiscal year. This measure, which extends the Pesticide Subsidy Program, along with the pesticide subsidy program manager position necessary to process the applications for these subsidies, should be viewed as a modest investment in one of the State's largest and most important agricultural industries.
Your Committee has amended this measure by:
(1) Inserting, per the recommendation of the Synergistic Hawaii Agriculture Council, an appropriation amount of $200,000, including an appropriation of $25,000 for the salary and fringe benefits of the pesticide subsidy program manager position; and
(2) Inserting an effective date of July 1, 2020.
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 H.B. No. 1861, H.D. 1, as amended herein, and recommends that it pass Second Reading in the form attached hereto as H.B. No. 1861, H.D. 1, 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