S.B. NO.



S.D. 2


H.D. 1














     SECTION 1.  The legislature finds that the Bernice Pauahi Bishop Museum serves the people and State of Hawaii through its ongoing work to study, preserve, perpetuate, and share Hawaii's natural and cultural history.  It was officially designated as the State of Hawaii Museum of Natural and Cultural History by the Hawaii state legislature in 1988 and is the world's premier resource for Hawaiian and Pacific materials, housing the world's largest collection of Hawaiian and Oceanic cultural artifacts as well as over twenty-two million biological specimens from Hawaii and the Pacific.  The cultural collections contain unique and irreplaceable materials of Hawaii and the Pacific, which are essential to perpetuating the Hawaiian culture and innovating from a base of knowledge.  The natural history collections represent a library of life that documents changes in Hawaii's environment over time and provides information crucial to protecting native species and habitats, as well as combating invasive species.

     Over its one hundred thirty-year history, Bishop Museum has stewarded the collective cultural and environmental heritage of Hawaii; preserved and translated the oral history of Native Hawaiians throughout the island chain; published key Hawaiian language and cultural resources; founded fields of study and performed research leading to countless discoveries; mounted major exhibitions that have celebrated the nature, culture, and history of Hawaii and the Pacific; served state and federal resource managers and agencies; and produced a wide range of educational and public programs for Hawaii's community.

     Bishop Museum's collections and scientific expertise are regularly accessed by state agencies, including the department of land and natural resources, department of health, department of agriculture, and University of Hawaii.  State entities account for approximately one-quarter of all collection usage at the museum, and museum staff record a minimum of two months' worth of cumulative staff time per year to support various state agency requests at no charge.  Bishop Museum also provides training to state personnel in entomology, botany, malacology, species identification, taxonomy, and other areas at no charge.

     Bishop Museum biologists work closely with state scientists to assist in identifying weeds, insects, snails, reptiles, and other intercepted, potentially invasive species.  During the Christmas season when large numbers of trees are imported from the Pacific Northwest, museum staff identify intercepted snails and slugs from the tree shipments for the department of agriculture.  In a single year, the museum identified more than twenty potential new invasive slugs and snails through the tree shipments and helped to prevent their establishment in Hawaii.  The museum also identifies all snakes and other reptiles and amphibians that are intercepted by State plant quarantine officials.  Museum biologists are also working with the department of health, department of agriculture, University of Hawaii, Hawaii invasive species council, and others to conduct field surveys and screen snails and slugs for the parasite that causes rat lungworm disease.

     In addition, Bishop Museum provides vital educational programs and resources to students and teachers of the department of education, including science, technology, engineering, and math programs that address the department's science standards.  The museum's educators serve more than twenty-five thousand students per year through various on-site educational programs.

     The State has supported Bishop Museum's designation as the State of Hawaii Museum of Natural and Cultural History through an annual appropriation of general revenues to support the museum's operational activities, which are of great cultural, scientific, and intrinsic value to the State.  This annual appropriation has decreased significantly over the preceding decade, from $2,470,000 in 1992, which represented twenty-two per cent of the museum's operating budget at that time, or $4,500,000 in today's dollars, to its current appropriation of $626,000, covering just four per cent of the museum's operating budget.

     The purpose of this Act is to appropriate funds to support the State of Hawaii Museum of Natural and Cultural History.

     SECTION 2.  There is appropriated out of the general revenues of the State of Hawaii the sum of $2,000,000 or so much thereof as may be necessary for fiscal year 2019-2020 and the same sum or so much thereof as may be necessary for fiscal year 2020-2021 to support the Bishop Museum, designated as the State of Hawaii Museum of Natural and Cultural History, including the hiring of necessary staff.

     The sums appropriated shall be expended by the department of budget and finance.

     SECTION 3.  This Act shall take effect upon its approval.


Report Title:

Bernice Pauahi Bishop Museum; State of Hawaii Museum of Natural and Cultural History; Appropriation



Appropriates funds to support the work of the State of Hawaii Museum of Natural and Cultural History.  (SB699 HD1)




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