HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

H.B. NO.

2636

THIRTIETH LEGISLATURE, 2020

 

STATE OF HAWAII

 

 

 

 

 

 

A BILL FOR AN ACT

 

 

relating to conservation.

 

 

BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF HAWAII:

 


SECTION 1. The legislature finds that Hawaii is one of the most beautiful places on the planet, with breathtaking landscapes, lush tropical forests, and rich ocean resources. The State is home to amazing ecosystems that include a unique mix of flora and fauna, including dozens of endemic Hawaiian birds that can be found nowhere else on earth; approximately one thousand four hundred species of native plants, ninety per cent of which are endemic to the State; and familiar marine mammals that are closely associated with the State, including the Hawaiian monk seal and humpback whale.

The legislature also finds that state residents understand the importance of these unique resources and appreciate their value. More specifically, residents appreciate the beloved native and endemic plants and animals of Hawaii and strongly believe that these resources must be preserved for future generations. The legislature must develop programs that allow residents the opportunity to directly contribute to the conservation of these critical resources.

Accordingly, the purpose of this Act is to establish special number motor vehicle license plates that commemorate the importance of forest and ocean conservation and to use proceeds from the special number plate program to fund conservation efforts at the State's beaches, nearshore environments, and forests.

SECTION 2. Chapter 249, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is amended by adding a new section to be appropriately designated and to read as follows:

"249- Special number plates for forest and ocean conservation; authorized. (a) Notwithstanding any law to the contrary, the director of finance shall issue to any registered owner of a motor vehicle, who is a resident of the State, upon completed application and payment of required fees, special number plates for the registered owner's motor vehicle commemorating the importance of forest and ocean conservation.

(b) The director of finance of the city and county of Honolulu, in consultation with the directors of finance of the counties of Kauai, Maui, and Hawaii, the chiefs of police of the city and county of Honolulu, and the counties of Kauai, Maui, and Hawaii, and the chairperson of the board of land and natural resources, shall establish special number plate designs that commemorate the importance of forest and ocean conservation; provided that the director of finance shall establish two different designs for forest conservation that correspond to the two fundraising fee amounts described in subsection (e), and two different designs for ocean conservation that correspond to the two fundraising fee amounts described in subsection (e). Each design shall:

(1) Contain words, images, or both, that indicate the special number plate is issued to recognize forest or ocean conservation;

(2) Be similar in shape and size to the uniform state number plate prescribed by law; and

(3) Not obstruct the visibility of the number or letters or any other information that is required by law to be on a number plate and is readily identifiable and distinguishable under actual traffic conditions.

(c) Each special number plate design shall not:

(1) Infringe or otherwise violate any trademark, trade name, service mark, copyright, or other proprietary or property right;

(2) Represent any obscene or degrading image, idea, word, or phrase;

(3) Advertise or endorse a product, brand, or service that is provided for sale;

(4) Promote any religious belief; or

(5) Promote any philosophy based on prejudice or that is contrary to state civil rights laws.

(d) Each special number plate shall be securely fastened to the motor vehicle in lieu of the uniform state number plate.

(e) The director of finance shall charge a special number plate fee at least equal to the county's cost of providing the special number plate and administrative costs, if any, plus a fundraising fee of either $100 or $200; provided that the director of finance shall issue a number plate with separate designs for each fundraising fee amount. The administrative fee and fundraising fee established by this subsection shall be in addition to any other state or county fees collected for a motor vehicle registration or license plate.

(f) The director of finance may charge an additional fundraising fee, of the same or a different amount as the fundraising fee established pursuant to subsection (e), for the renewal of a special number plate. If an additional fundraising fee is implemented pursuant to this subsection, the director of finance shall revoke the special number plate of the registered owner of a motor vehicle who fails to pay the additional fundraising fee imposed by this subsection.

(g) The revenue generated by the fundraising fees shall be deposited into the:

(1) Beach restoration special fund established pursuant to section 171-156, if the fundraising fee is for a special number plate issued to commemorate the importance of ocean conservation; and

(2) Forest stewardship fund established pursuant to section 195F-4, if the fundraising fee is for a special number plate issued to commemorate the importance of forest conservation.

(h) The director of finance may revoke all special number plates issued pursuant to this section if the total number of registered owners of motor vehicles that obtain the special number plates is less than one hundred fifty within three years of issuance of the first special number plate.

(i) Nothing in this section shall be construed to apply to any plates issued pursuant to section 249-9.2.

(j) For the purposes of this section, unless a different meaning appears from the context, "special number plate" means a license plate that represents forest or ocean conservation."

SECTION 3. Section 171-156, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is amended to read as follows:

"[[]171-156[]] Beach restoration special fund. (a) There is established in the state treasury a special fund to be designated as the "beach restoration special fund" to carry out the purposes of this part. The following moneys shall be deposited into the beach restoration special fund:

(1) Proceeds from the lease or development of public coastal lands designated pursuant to a beach restoration plan, subject to the Hawaiian Homes Commission Act of 1920, as amended, and section 5(f) of the Admission Act of 1959;

(2) Proceeds from the lease of public lands pursuant to this part for an existing seawall or revetment;

(3) Proceeds from the fundraising fee charged for special number plates for ocean conservation pursuant to section 249- ;

[(3)] (4) Fines collected for unauthorized shoreline structures on state submerged land or conservation district land;

[(4)] (5) Appropriations made by the legislature for deposit into this fund;

[(5)] (6) Donations and contributions made by private individuals or organizations for deposit into this fund;

[(6)] (7) Fees collected for the processing of applications for coastal and beach erosion control projects; and

[(7)] (8) Grants provided by governmental agencies or any other source.

(b) The beach restoration special fund may be used by the department for one or more of the following purposes:

(1) Planning, designing, development, or implementation of beach restoration projects pursuant to this part; [and]

(2) Providing grants to the counties, nongovernmental organizations, and the University of Hawaii for the restoration of beach lands and for research or engineering studies necessary to support beach restoration projects, subject to this part[.]; and

(3) Conducting beach and nearshore environmental cleanups."

SECTION 4. Section 195F-4, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is amended by amending subsection (a) to read as follows:

"(a) There is established a special fund within the state treasury known as the forest stewardship fund which shall be used as follows:

(1) Payments shall be made by the board pursuant to agreements entered into with qualified landowners to further the purposes of this chapter; and

(2) Moneys collected from:

(A) The harvest of non-native forest products from forest reserves;

(B) The harvest of native forest products from degraded forests as defined in section 186-5.5, within forest reserves;

(C) The sale of forest products found dead and lying on the ground;

(D) The sale of tree seedlings from state nurseries;

(E) The sale of any other products or services, or anything of value derived from forest reserves not described above; [or]

(F) The imposition of fines or penalties for violations of this chapter and chapters 183 and 185 or any rule adopted thereunder; or

(G) Proceeds from the fundraising fee charged for special number plates for forest conservation pursuant to section 249- ,

shall be used for:

(i) [replanting,] Replanting, managing, and maintaining designated timber management areas;

(ii) [enhancing] Enhancing the management of public forest reserves with an emphasis on restoring degraded koa forests; and

(iii) [developing] Developing environmental education and training programs pertaining to sustainable forestry;

provided that the activities described in clauses (ii) and (iii) may not be funded unless the activities described in approved management plans pertaining to clause (i) are adequately funded."

SECTION 5. Statutory material to be repealed is bracketed and stricken. New statutory material is underscored.

SECTION 6. This Act shall take effect on upon approval.

 

INTRODUCED BY:

_____________________________

 

 


 


 

Report Title:

Counties; Board of Land and Natural Resources; Special License Plates; Forest Conservation; Ocean Conservation

 

Description:

Authorizes the issuance of special license plates to support forest conservation and ocean conservation, with proceeds from the program to be used to fund conservation efforts at the State's beaches, nearshore environment, and forests.

 

 

 

The summary description of legislation appearing on this page is for informational purposes only and is not legislation or evidence of legislative intent.