STAND. COM. REP. NO. 540
RE: H.B. No. 1019
Honorable Scott K. Saiki
Speaker, House of Representatives
Thirty-First State Legislature
Regular Session of 2021
State of Hawaii
Your Committee on Water & Land, to which was referred H.B. No. 1019 entitled:
"A BILL FOR AN ACT RELATING TO OCEAN STEWARDSHIP,"
begs leave to report as follows:
(1) Authorizing the Department of Land and Natural Resources to adopt rules pursuant to chapter 91, Hawaii Revised Statutes, to establish non-resident user fees for the use and enjoyment of the State's ocean resources; and
(2) Establishing the Ocean Stewardship Special Fund to collect and use such monies.
Your Committee received testimony in support of this measure from the Department of Land and Natural Resources; University of Hawaii Sea Grant Program; Office of Hawaiian Affairs; The Nature Conservancy, Hawaii Program; Hawaii Reef and Ocean Coalition; Friends of Hanauma Bay; Kua‘aina Ulu Auamo; Hui Maka‘ainana O Makana; Cates Marine Service, LLC; and four individuals. Your Committee received testimony in opposition to this measure from Alii Nui Charters, Dive Maui/Hawaiian Rafting Adventures, Extended Horizons Scuba, Teralani, Banyan Tree Divers Maui, Mike Severns Diving, Maui Diving -Scuba & Snorkel Center, Kolea Charters of Lahaina, and four individuals. Your Committee received comments on this measure from the Ocean Tourism Coalition and Pacific Whale Foundation.
Your Committee finds that Hawaii's ocean waters and marine resources are some of its most ecologically, economically, and culturally valuable assets, central to the State's $7.8 billion outdoor recreation industry. Your Committee further finds that Hawaii's marine environment and resources are under increasing threat and that it is crucially important that the State has adequate resources to help ensure the health of its ocean ecosystems for present and future generations.
Your Committee has amended this measure by:
(1) Statutorily establishing the ocean stewardship user fee to apply to residents as well as non-residents, instead of authorizing the Department of Land and Natural Resources to adopt rules pursuant to chapter 91, Hawaii Revised Statutes, to establish non-resident user fees;
(2) Initially setting the ocean stewardship user fee at $1 per passenger or customer and requiring that the user fee be adjusted every five years to match changes in the Consumer Price Index in the Honolulu area, as reported by the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics; provided that the fee cannot be adjusted more than ten percent every five years;
(3) Delaying the collection of the ocean stewardship user fee until January 1, 2024;
(4) Changing its effective date to January 1, 2050, to encourage further discussion; and
(5) Making technical, nonsubstantive amendments for purposes of clarity, consistency, and style.
As affirmed by the record of votes of the members of your Committee on Water & Land that is attached to this report, your Committee is in accord with the intent and purpose of H.B. No. 1019, as amended herein, and recommends that it pass Second Reading in the form attached hereto as H.B. No. 1019, H.D. 1, and be referred to your Committee on Finance.
Respectfully submitted on behalf of the members of the Committee on Water & Land,
DAVID A. TARNAS, Chair