STAND. COM. REP. NO. 149-20
RE: H.B. No. 1894
Honorable Scott K. Saiki
Speaker, House of Representatives
Thirtieth State Legislature
Regular Session of 2020
State of Hawaii
Your Committee on Labor & Public Employment, to which was referred H.B. No. 1894 entitled:
"A BILL FOR AN ACT RELATING TO BEGINNING FARMER TRAINING,"
begs leave to report as follows:
(1) Establishing the Beginning Farmer Training Program (Program) to be administered by the Department of Agriculture in conjunction with qualified farmer training providers, to provide training for eligible farmers for up to one year;
(2) Requiring the Department of Agriculture to submit a report to the Legislature prior to each regular session on the Program; and
(3) Appropriating funds to establish and implement the Program.
Your Committee received testimony in support of this measure from the Land Use Research Foundation of Hawaii, Hawaii Farmers Union United, Ulupono Initiative, Alternative Structures International (dba Kahumana Organic Farms), A‘a Li‘i Farm, and numerous individuals. Your Committee received testimony in opposition to this measure from the University of Hawaii System. Your Committee received comments on this measure from the State Procurement Office, Department of Agriculture, and Hawaii Farm Bureau.
Your Committee recognizes that education and training are essential to cultivating the next generation of students and others who are interested in pursuing a career in agriculture in Hawaii. This measure recognizes the array of technology, business, and other skills that are necessary to farming by providing training opportunities to new beginning farmers.
Your Committee has amended this measure by:
(1) Changing the appropriation to an unspecified amount;
(2) Removing the reference to the specific method of procurement source selection for qualified farmer training providers;
(3) Removing the requirements relating to the requests for proposals;
(4) Changing its effective date to January 1, 2050, to encourage further discussion; and
(5) Making technical, nonsubstantive amendments for the purposes of clarity, consistency, and style.
Your Committee notes the concerns raised in testimony by the University of Hawaii System that this measure lacks specificity about the criteria, funding, oversight, and other details of the Program, and suggests that these concerns be appropriately vetted by the Committee on Agriculture should it decide to hear this measure.
Your Committee also requests that should the Committee on Finance hear this measure, your Committee respectfully requests that it consider appropriating $2,000,000 for fiscal year 2020-2021 to establish and implement the Program.
As affirmed by the record of votes of the members of your Committee on Labor & Public Employment that is attached to this report, your Committee is in accord with the intent and purpose of H.B. No. 1894, as amended herein, and recommends that it pass Second Reading in the form attached hereto as H.B. No. 1894, H.D. 1, and be referred to your Committee on Agriculture.
Respectfully submitted on behalf of the members of the Committee on Labor & Public Employment,
AARON LING JOHANSON, Chair