STAND. COM. REP. NO. 1233

 

Honolulu, Hawaii

 

RE: H.B. No. 1019

H.D. 2

S.D. 1

 

 

 

Honorable Ronald D. Kouchi

President of the Senate

Thirty-First State Legislature

Regular Session of 2021

State of Hawaii

 

Sir:

 

Your Committee on Water and Land, to which was referred H.B. No. 1019, H.D. 2, entitled:

 

"A BILL FOR AN ACT RELATING TO OCEAN STEWARDSHIP,"

 

begs leave to report as follows:

 

The purpose and intent of this measure is to:

 

(1) Establish a five-year Ocean Stewardship Special Fund for the collection and use of monies for the conservation, restoration, and enhancement of the State's marine resources; and

 

(2) Authorize the Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR) to collect fees for the use and enjoyment of the State's ocean resources.

 

Your Committee received testimony in support of the measure from the Department of Land and Natural Resources, Office of Hawaiian Affairs, Kuaāina Ulu Auamo, Hawaii Reef and Ocean Coalition, The Nature Conservancy, Ocean Tourism Coalition, and Mālama Pūpūkea-Waimea. Your Committee received comments on the measure from the Pacific Whale Foundation.

 

Your Committee finds that DLNR needs additional revenue to ensure the health of our nearshore marine ecosystems for present and future generations. According to testimony received by your Committee, if the ocean stewardship user fee is set at a fixed $1 rate, even with SARS-CoV-2 virus impacts, the State is estimated to generate a net present value of $14.4 million over a fifteen-year time horizon. Your Committee notes that although this measure repeals the Ocean Stewardship Special Fund on June 30, 2026, the fees, revenues, and other monies to be deposited into the fund are not repealed nor diverted. Your Committee further notes that with the delayed collection of the ocean stewardship user fee, DLNR would have under three years to use the monies collected, thus obstructing its ability to engage in long-term planning for ocean stewardship projects.

 

Accordingly, your Committee has amended this measure by:

 

(1) Extending the sunset date of the Ocean Stewardship Special Fund from June 30, 2026, to June 30, 2030;

 

(2) Making it effective upon its approval; and

 

(3) 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 Water and Land that is attached to this report, your Committee is in accord with the intent and purpose of H.B. No. 1019, H.D. 2, as amended herein, and recommends that it pass Second Reading in the form attached hereto as H.B. No. 1019, H.D. 2, S.D. 1, and be referred to your Committee on Ways and Means.

 

Respectfully submitted on behalf of the members of the Committee on Water and Land,

 

 

 

________________________________

LORRAINE R. INOUYE, Chair