STAND. COM. REP. NO. 2386
RE: S.B. No. 2711
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 S.B. No. 2711 entitled:
"A BILL FOR AN ACT RELATING TO AGRICULTURE,"
begs leave to report as follows:
The purpose and intent 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 that complies with the Environmental Protection Agency's emission standards.
Your Committee received testimony in support of this measure from the Department of Agriculture; University of Hawai‘i System; Hawaii Cattlemen's Council, Inc.; Land Use Research Foundation of Hawaii; Maui Chamber of Commerce; Hawaii Crop Improvement Association; Hawai‘i Farm Bureau; and twenty-one individuals.
Your Committee finds that as the demand for unskilled labor increases, farmers and ranchers continue to search for alternative ways to operate their farms through technology, such as small equipment tractors from Japan. According to the United States Environmental Protection Agency, small equipment engines from foreign countries like Japan do not comply with standard regulations. Your Committee further finds that appropriating funds to establish a pilot program to identify efficient foreign agricultural small equipment and retrofit engines to comply with Environmental Protection Agency standard regulations can aid local farmers and ranchers to identify and import advantageous small equipment.
Your Committee notes that the University of Hawaii, rather than the Department of Agriculture, is a more appropriate agency to establish a foreign agriculture small equipment pilot program.
Accordingly, your Committee has amended this measure by:
(1) Replacing the Department of Agriculture with the University of Hawaii as the lead agency to establish a foreign agriculture small equipment pilot program; 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. 2711, as amended herein, and recommends that it pass Second Reading in the form attached hereto as S.B. No. 2711, 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