STAND. COM. REP. NO. 2495

 

Honolulu, Hawaii

 

RE: S.B. No. 2623

S.D. 1

 

 

 

Honorable Ronald D. Kouchi

President of the Senate

Thirtieth State Legislature

Regular Session of 2020

State of Hawaii

 

Sir:

 

Your Committee on Agriculture and Environment, to which was referred S.B. No. 2623 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 by three years, to June 30, 2025;

 

(2) Extend the pesticide subsidy program manager position, including the position's civil service and collective bargaining laws exemption, until the year after the program sunsets, specifically, June 30, 2026; and

 

(3) Make appropriations for the program and program manager position for fiscal year 2020-2021.

 

Your Committee received testimony in support of this measure from the University of Hawaii, Office of the Mayor of the County of Hawaii, two members of the Hawaii County Council, Big Island Invasive Species Committee, Land Use Research Foundation of Hawaii, Rancho Aloha Kona Coffee, Bea's Knees Farm, Honalo Farm, Pele Plantations, Konalicious Organic Coffee, Kona Mountain Coffee, Kona Coffee Farmers Association, Lions Gate Farms, Hawaii Farm Bureau, Maui Chamber of Commerce, Cassandra Farms, Konaloha Farms, LavaRock Farm, Farm Maui LLC, Kau Coffee Growers Cooperative, Rusty's Hawaiian, and seventeen individuals.

 

Your Committee finds that the pesticide subsidy program in the Department of Agriculture assists coffee growers with offsetting the costs of purchasing certain pesticides known to be effective against the coffee berry borer, a pest highly destructive to coffee. The program was established to run for five years. Your Committee also finds that the current pesticide subsidy program manager position is a full-time, temporary position that is exempt from civil service and collective bargaining laws.

 

Due to other laws, this exemption from civil service will expire on June 30, 2022. The pesticide subsidy program took longer than anticipated to implement, thus the program sunset date was also extended from June 30, 2019, to June 30, 2021. However, applications for a subsidy for pesticide purchases made in a fiscal year must be filed in the immediately following fiscal year. Therefore, for pesticide purchases made in the last fiscal year of the program (from July 1, 2020, to June 30, 2021), applications for subsidies must be filed in the immediately following fiscal year (anytime from July 1, 2021, to June 30, 2022). The manager position is needed to process these applications for subsidies for costs incurred in the final year of the program, thus, your Committee finds that the civil service exemption and the subsidy program should be extended by three more years.

 

Your Committee has amended this measure by:

 

(1) Inserting an appropriation amount of $175,000 for FY 2020-2021 for the pesticide subsidy program, including $25,000 for the salary and fringe benefits of the pesticide subsidy program manager position; 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. 2623, as amended herein, and recommends that it pass Second Reading in the form attached hereto as S.B. No. 2623, 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