STAND. COM. REP. NO. 477-20
RE: H.B. No. 2181
Honorable Scott K. Saiki
Speaker, House of Representatives
Thirtieth State Legislature
Regular Session of 2020
State of Hawaii
Your Committee on Agriculture, to which was referred H.B. No. 2181 entitled:
"A BILL FOR AN ACT RELATING TO AGRICULTURE,"
begs leave to report as follows:
The purpose of this measure is to appropriate funds to the Department of Agriculture for a pilot program to identify and purchase foreign agricultural technology, including small equipment tractors and retrofit engines, that will benefit the State's farmers and ranchers and comply with the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) emission standards.
Your Committee received testimony in support of this measure from the Land Use Research Foundation of Hawaii, Maui County Farm Bureau, Hawaii Cattlemen's Council, Ulupono Initiative, and twenty individuals. Your Committee received testimony in opposition to this measure from one individual. Your Committee received comments on this measure from the Department of Agriculture, University of Hawaii System, and Hawaii Farm Bureau.
Your Committee finds that, as the demand for unskilled labor increases, farmers and ranchers are searching for ways to use technology to better operate their farms. These farmers and ranchers could greatly benefit from foreign technology such as small equipment tractors from Japan. However, they are unable to import that equipment because it does not comply with EPA's emission standards. Your Committee further finds that as the State's local food issues become increasingly complex and challenging, it is important to explore resources and policies that support local food production. The pilot program proposed by this measure will help identify desired small equipment, evaluate its applicability for Hawaii's diverse agriculture systems, and enable Hawaii farmers to import foreign equipment that complies with EPA standards.
Your Committee has amended this measure by:
(1) Changing its effective date to July 1, 2150, to encourage further discussion; and
(2) Making technical, nonsubstantive amendments for the purposes of clarity, consistency, and style.
Should your Committee on Finance choose to deliberate on this measure, your Committee on Agriculture respectfully recommends that the amount of $500,000 be appropriated to fund the Foreign Agriculture Small Equipment Pilot Program.
As affirmed by the record of votes of the members of your Committee on Agriculture that is attached to this report, your Committee is in accord with the intent and purpose of H.B. No. 2181, as amended herein, and recommends that it pass Second Reading in the form attached hereto as H.B. No. 2181, H.D. 1, and be referred to your Committee on Finance.
Respectfully submitted on behalf of the members of the Committee on Agriculture,
RICHARD P. CREAGAN, Chair