STAND. COM. REP. NO. 538

 

Honolulu, Hawaii

, 2021

 

RE: H.B. No. 863

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 Water & Land, to which was referred H.B. No. 863 entitled:

 

"A BILL FOR AN ACT RELATING TO FORESTRY,"

 

begs leave to report as follows:

 

The purpose of this measure is to authorize the issuance of general obligation bonds for the Department of Land and Natural Resources' Forest Stewardship Program for fiscal year 2021-2022 to expand and increase existing plant stocks of state tree nurseries, renovate and update the equipment and facilities of the state tree nurseries, and conduct public outreach and education on the benefits of trees and plants in providing soil health and their uses in agricultural settings.

 

Your Committee received testimony in support of this measure from the University of Hawaii College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources, Our Revolution Hawaii, Trees for Honolulu's Future, Environmental Caucus of the Democratic Party of Hawaii, and five individuals. Your Committee received comments on this measure from the Department of Land and Natural Resources.

 

Your Committee recognizes the importance of healthy soil for food security and ecosystem resilience against climate change. However, your Committee finds that the various tree nurseries across the State are in need of facilities and improvements that include greenhouses, irrigation, water catchment, and other infrastructure. The authorization and appropriation of general obligation bond funds for the Forest Stewardship Program will support stewardship, enhancement, conservation, and restoration of Hawaii's forests.

 

Your Committee has amended this measure by:

 

(1) Authorizing general obligation bonds for the 2021-2023 fiscal biennium rather than the 2021-2022 fiscal year;

 

(2) Deleting the specific amount of the general obligation bond authorization and appropriation;

 

(3) Amending the purpose for which the general obligation bond funds are authorized and appropriated;

 

(4) Changing the effective date to January 1, 2050, to encourage further discussion; and

 

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

 

Your Committee notes that the amount of $1,380,000 in general obligation bonds was authorized for fiscal year 2021-2022 in the measure as received by your Committee.

 

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. 863, as amended herein, and recommends that it pass Second Reading in the form attached hereto as H.B. No. 863, 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