STAND. COM. REP. NO. 445

 

Honolulu, Hawaii

, 2021

 

RE: H.B. No. 237

H.D. 1

 

 

 

 

Honorable Scott K. Saiki

Speaker, House of Representatives

Thirty-First State Legislature

Regular Session of 2021

State of Hawaii

 

Sir:

 

Your Committee on Agriculture, to which was referred H.B. No. 237 entitled:

 

"A BILL FOR AN ACT RELATING TO INVASIVE SPECIES,"

 

begs leave to report as follows:

 

The purpose of this measure is to appropriate funds to the Department of Agriculture for the mitigation and control of the two-lined spittlebug and fund recovery efforts.

 

Your Committee received testimony in support of this measure from the Department of Agriculture; University of Hawaii System; Hawaii Cattlemen's Council, Inc.; Larry Jefts Farms, LLC; McCandless Ranch; Hawaii Farm Bureau; Parker Ranch, Inc.; Ulupono Initiative; Land Use Research Foundation of Hawaii; Maui Cattlemen's Association, Inc.; Hawaii Meats, LLC; Local Food Coalition; Ulupalakua Ranch, Inc.; F Ranch, LLC; and twelve individuals. Your Committee received comments on this measure from the Department of the Attorney General.

 

Your Committee finds that the two-lined spittlebug is an invasive insect that attacks key forage grasses used by the livestock ranching industry. In 2016, the State's first two-lined spittlebug infestation was discovered in Kailua-Kona, on the Island of Hawaii, where the pest had damaged nearly two thousand acres of pasture land. Many high-quality pasture grasses, including Bracharia, Kikuyu, Pangola, St. Augustine, and Bermuda, are susceptible to two-lined spittlebug attacks. During heavy infestations, dying plant tissue cascades from the leaves to the roots, ultimately causing the death of the whole plant. The resulting damage does not allow for any regrowth, requiring ranchers to totally replant affected pastures.

 

Your Committee has amended this measure by:

 

(1) Correcting the name of the special fund to the Pest Inspection, Quarantine, and Eradication Fund; and

 

(2) Making technical, nonsubstantive amendments for the purposes of clarity, consistency, and style.

 

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. 237, as amended herein, and recommends that it pass Second Reading in the form attached hereto as H.B. No. 237, H.D. 1, and be referred to your Committee on Finance.

 

 

Respectfully submitted on behalf of the members of the Committee on Agriculture,

 

 

 

 

____________________________

MARK J. HASHEM, Chair