STAND. COM. REP. NO. 335-20
RE: H.B. No. 2532
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. 2532 entitled:
"A BILL FOR AN ACT RELATING TO INVASIVE SPECIES,"
begs leave to report as follows:
(1) Appropriate funds to mitigate and control the two-lined spittlebug and to fund recovery efforts; and
(2) Require the Department of Agriculture to submit a report to the Legislature on its expenditure of funds and the progress of funded activities.
Your Committee received testimony in support of this measure from the Hawaii Cattlemen's Council, Inc.; McCandless Ranch; Ponoholo Ranch Limited; Land Use Research Foundation of Hawaii; Palani Ranch Company, Inc.; Local Food Coalition; Thompson Ranch; Hawaii Meats LLC; Hawaii Farm Bureau; Ulupalakua Ranch; Haleakala Ranch; Kohala Coast Resort Association; Paahana Livestock LLC; Big Island Invasive Species Committee; FAM Farmer Cohort #5; Ulupono Initiative; and thirteen individuals. Your Committee received comments on this measure from the Department of Agriculture, Department of Land and Natural Resources, and Office of the Mayor of the County of Hawaii.
Your Committee finds that the two-lined spittlebug, Prosapia bicincta, is an invasive insect that attacks key forage grasses used by the livestock ranching industry. In 2016, the State's first two-lined spittlebug infestation was discovered in Kailua-Kona, on the island of Hawaii, where the pest had damaged nearly two thousand acres of pasture land. During heavy infestations, dying plant tissues cascade from the leaves to the roots, ultimately causing whole plant death. The resulting damage does not allow for any regrowth, requiring ranchers to totally replant affected pastures. Your Committee notes that monthly surveys carried out since 2017 on the island of Hawaii show that the two-lined spittlebug is rapidly expanding its range and now covers more than two hundred twenty-two square miles.
Your Committee recognizes that livestock ranching is a highly productive and extremely valuable industry on all of Hawaii's major islands. The State's livestock industry has an estimated annual value of more than $68,000,000, with over one hundred forty-two thousand beef cattle on more than one thousand three hundred ranches. Collectively, these ranches cover nearly twenty-five percent of the State's land area. The two-lined spittlebug threatens job and food security in the State. Your Committee concludes that immediate action must be taken to address this infestation and restrict further spread.
Your Committee has amended this measure by:
(1) Changing the amount of the appropriation to an unspecified sum;
(2) Changing its effective date to July 1, 2150, to encourage further discussion; and
(3) Making technical, nonsubstantive amendments for the purposes of clarity, consistency, and style.
Your Committee respectfully requests your Committee on Finance, should it deliberate on this matter further, to consider appropriating $1,000,000 to fund the Department of Agriculture's recovery efforts.
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. 2532, as amended herein, and recommends that it pass Second Reading in the form attached hereto as H.B. No. 2532, 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