HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
THIRTIETH LEGISLATURE, 2020
STATE OF HAWAII
A BILL FOR AN ACT
RELATING TO SUSTAINABILITY.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF HAWAII:
SECTION 1. The legislature finds that not only is climate change real, but it is the overriding challenge of the twenty-first century and one of the priority issues of the State. Climate change poses immediate and long-term threats to the State's economy, sustainability, security, and way of life.
The legislature recognized in Act 8, Special Session Laws of Hawaii 2005, that "many quality-of-life issues, including water quality, air quality, land use, energy, and ocean resources, are important to the people of Hawaii and should be the focus for planning Hawaii's future" and created the Hawaii 2050 sustainability task force and the Hawaii 2050 sustainability plan to "coordinate the actions needed to sustain a growing and vibrant economy, while maintaining a high quality of life for all residents and visitors."
The legislature recognized in Act 181, Session Laws of Hawaii 2011, that "[t]he creation of the Hawaii 2050 sustainability plan comes as the State faces a growing number of pressing issues, including the steady deterioration of public infrastructure, the lack of affordable housing, a continued reliance on a service-based economy, the vulnerability of Hawaii in a volatile global energy market, possible interruptions in travel and to critical food supplies, threats to fragile island ecosystems, ever-increasing numbers of residents, and an increasing number of visitors over the long-term." These issues all raise questions about the long-term limits of growth in the State and highlight the need to begin planning and acting to assure Hawaii's sustainable future.
The purpose of this Act is to establish a stronger policy framework for Hawaii's sustainability efforts, by incorporating sustainability coordination and planning into the duties and responsibilities of the office of planning by establishing a statewide sustainability division within the office of planning to ensure long-term planning, coordination, and implementation of Hawaii's sustainability goals and policies. This statewide sustainability division will serve as an independent, permanent, multi-sectoral, and interdepartmental coordinating entity for Hawaii's government agencies to work on cross-agency resiliency, sustainability, and climate action planning issues and strategies for Hawaii's future.
SECTION 2. The Hawaii Revised Statutes is amended by adding a new chapter to be appropriately designated and to read as follows:
§ -1 Purpose. The purpose of this chapter is to promote and organize the State's sustainability goals, policies, and guidelines through a statewide sustainability planning and coordination division to protect the State's economy, environment, and way of life.
§ -2 Definitions. As used in this chapter:
"Division" means the statewide sustainability division established pursuant to section -4.
"Sustainability" means using, developing, and protecting resources in a manner that enables people to meet current needs and adapt and become resilient to Hawaii's changing climate and ensures that future generations can also meet future needs, from the joint perspective of environmental, economic, and socially equitable objectives.
§ -3 Findings and goals regarding sustainability. In addition to the priority guidelines and principles promoting sustainability set forth in section 226-108, the following criteria shall be the goals for the State regarding sustainability:
(1) The division shall assist state agencies to achieve the following objectives:
(A) Encourage state purchases to be made in a manner that serves the broad, long-term financial interests of the State, including ensuring that environmental, economic, and societal improvements are made to enhance environmental, economic, and societal well-being;
(B) Promote investments in facilities, equipment, and durable goods to reflect the highest feasible efficiency and lowest life-cycle costs;
(C) Promote investments and expenditures to improve the efficient use of energy, water, food security, and other resources;
(D) Encourage state operations in diverse locations, including rural and economically distressed communities;
(E) Encourage state operations and purchases to help maintain vital and active urban communities, including downtown areas;
(F) Promote state purchases to support opportunities for economically distressed communities and historically underemployed individuals;
(G) Support state operations to reflect partnerships with communities and businesses;
(H) Advocate for state operations to help reduce adverse effects on native habitats and species and help restore ecological processes;
(I) Improve state operations using methods that significantly increase the efficient use of energy, water, food security, and other resources;
(J) Encourage state operations and purchases to reflect the efficient use and reuse of resources and reduction of contaminants released into the environment; and
(K) Coordinate and promote the United Nations sustainable development goals;
(2) The division shall assist state agencies to support sustainable communities, and assist and encourage local communities to achieve the following objectives:
(A) Resilient local economies that provide diverse economic opportunities for all residents;
(B) Workers supported by lifelong education that will ensure a globally competitive workforce;
(C) An independent and productive citizenry;
(D) Youth supported by strong families and communities;
(E) Urban communities, including downtown areas, that are active and vital;
(F) Development that wisely and efficiently uses infrastructure, investments, and natural resources;
(G) Affordable housing available for residents in community centers;
(H) Healthy urban and rural watersheds, including habitats for fish and wildlife;
(I) Clean and sufficient water for all uses; and
(J) Efficient use and reuse of resources and minimization of harmful emissions into the environment; and
(3) The division shall intensify efforts to increase the economic stability of communities that are designated as economically distressed.
§ -4 Statewide sustainability division; established. (a) The statewide sustainability division is established within the office of planning. The division shall have the following duties:
(1) Develop, organize, and promote policies and programs that assist in the meeting of sustainability goals established in this chapter, including Hawaii's numerous sustainability and climate policies and goals, and the priority guidelines and principles to promote sustainability set forth in section 226-108;
(2) Identify, evaluate, and make recommendations regarding proposed legislation, regulatory changes, or policy modifications to the governor, the legislature, government agencies, private entities, and other bodies for the purpose of encouraging activities that best sustain, protect, and enhance the quality of the environment, economy, and community for the present and future benefit of the people of Hawaii; and
(3) Develop and promote proposals that jointly and mutually enhance local economies, the environment, and community health for the present and future benefit of the people of Hawaii."
SECTION 3. Section 225M-1, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is amended to read as follows:
"§225M-1 Purpose. The purpose of this chapter is to establish
an office of planning to assist the governor and the director of business,
economic development, and tourism in maintaining an overall framework to guide
the development of the State through a continuous process of comprehensive,
long-range, and strategic planning to meet the physical, economic, and social
needs of Hawaii's people, and provide for the wise use of Hawaii's resources in
a coordinated, efficient, and economical manner, including the conservation of
those natural, environmental, recreational, scenic, historic, and other limited
and irreplaceable resources [
which] that are required for future
The establishment of an office of planning in the department of business, economic development, and tourism, for administrative purposes, is intended to:
(1) Fix responsibility and accountability to successfully carry out statewide planning programs, policies, and priorities;
(2) Improve the efficiency and effectiveness of the operations of the executive branch;
(3) Ensure comprehensive
planning and coordination to enhance the quality of life of the people of
(4) Coordinate the implementation of sustainability principles and policies that increase economic development while developing and protecting resources in a manner that enables individuals to meet their current needs and ensure that future generations can also meet their needs, from the joint perspective of environmental, economic, and community objectives, through collaboration and cooperation between the public and private sectors."
SECTION 4. Section 226-2, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is amended by amending the definition of "sustainability" to read as follows:
means achieving the following: (1) Respect of the culture, character, beauty,
and history of the State's island communities; (2) Striking a balance between economic,
social, community, and environmental priorities; and (3) Meeting the needs of the present without
compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.] shall
have the same meaning as in section ‑2."
SECTION 5. There is appropriated out of the general revenues of the State of Hawaii the sum of $ or so much thereof as may be necessary for fiscal year 2020-2021 for the establishment and implementation of the statewide sustainability division.
The sum appropriated shall be expended by the office of planning for the purposes of this Act.
SECTION 6. There is appropriated out of the general revenues of the State of Hawaii the sum of $ or so much thereof as may be necessary for fiscal year 2020-2021 for the establishment of:
(1) One full-time equivalent (1.00 FTE) secretary III position;
(2) Two full-time equivalent (2.00 FTE) planner IV positions; and
(3) Two full-time equivalent (2.00 FTE) planner V positions,
to support the statewide sustainability division.
The sum appropriated shall be expended by the office of planning for the purposes of this Act.
SECTION 7. Statutory material to be repealed is bracketed and stricken. New statutory material is underscored.
SECTION 8. This Act shall take effect on July 1, 2020.
Office of Planning; Statewide Sustainability Division; Sustainability; Appropriation
Establishes a statewide sustainability division within the office of planning to ensure long-term planning, coordination, and implementation of Hawaii's sustainability goals and policies. Appropriates funds.
The summary description of legislation appearing on this page is for informational purposes only and is not legislation or evidence of legislative intent.