STAND. COM. REP. NO. 554
RE: H.B. No. 1271
Honorable Scott K. Saiki
Speaker, House of Representatives
Thirty-First State Legislature
Regular Session of 2021
State of Hawaii
Your Committee on Agriculture, to which was referred H.B. No. 1271 entitled:
"A BILL FOR AN ACT RELATING TO THE AGRIBUSINESS DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION,"
begs leave to report as follows:
(1) Repeal the Agribusiness Development Corporation; and
(2) Transfer all lands held by the Agribusiness Development Corporation and all of the Agribusiness Development Corporation's staff, except for the Executive Director, to the Department of Agriculture.
Your Committee received testimony in support of this measure from Animal Rights Hawai‘i, Malama Moloa‘a, Hawai‘i SEED, Indigo Foundation, Clark Elements, Pele Lani Farm LLC, Pesticide Action Network North America, Hawai‘i Alliance for Progressive Action, Food+ Policy Internship 2021, Environmental Caucus of the Democratic Party of Hawai‘i, OrganicHawaii.org, and numerous individuals. Your Committee received testimony in opposition to this measure from the Department of Agriculture; Agribusiness Development Corporation; Kaua‘i Island Utility Cooperative; Friends of Waimanalo; Dole Food Co. Hawaii; Larry Jefts Farms, LLC; Lin's Farms; Kekaha Agriculture Association; Whitmore Economic Development Group; Umi's Farm; Hawaii Crop Improvement Association; Kaua‘i Chamber of Commerce; Hawai‘i Farm Bureau; Ho Farms; CropLife America; Biotechnology Innovation Organization; and numerous individuals. Your Committee received comments on this measure from Kalepa Koalition, Pono Hawai‘i Initiative, North Shore Economic Vitality Partnership, and two individuals.
Your Committee finds that the Agribusiness Development Corporation was established in 1994 to take a lead role in converting the State's agricultural lands from plantations producing mainly pineapple and sugar for export to more economically viable farms. Your Committee further finds that a recent audit report from the Office of the Auditor found that the Agribusiness Development Corporation has not taken critical steps toward achieving its overarching goals. Your Committee also finds that the results of the audit show that the Agribusiness Development Corporation is incapable of carrying out its basic statutory responsibilities and functions and should, therefore, be repealed. Your Committee believes that placing the assets and staff of the Agribusiness Development Corporation would be suitable and more effective if situated in the Department of Agriculture.
As affirmed by the record of votes of the members of your Committee on Agriculture that is attached to this report, your Committee is in accord with the intent and purpose of H.B. No. 1271 and recommends that it pass Second Reading and be referred to your Committee on Finance.
Respectfully submitted on behalf of the members of the Committee on Agriculture,
MARK J. HASHEM, Chair