STAND. COM. REP. NO. 1361

 

Honolulu, Hawaii

, 2021

 

RE: S.B. No. 1173

S.D. 2

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 S.B. No. 1173, S.D. 2, entitled:

 

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

 

begs leave to report as follows:

 

The purpose of this measure is to facilitate stewardship of Hawaii's ocean resources by:

 

(1) Establishing the Ocean Stewardship Special Fund for the conservation, restoration, and enhancement of the State's marine resources; and

 

(2) 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 Hawaii's ocean resources, to be deposited into the Ocean Stewardship Special Fund.

 

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

Your Committee finds that the increasing popularity of marine ecotourism and the broad range of anthropogenic impacts on coral reefs and other ocean resources necessitate a commensurate, consistent, and reliable source of funding, such as the non-resident fees, for the State to manage, protect, and restore its marine resources.

 

Your Committee further finds that the companion to this measure, H.B. No. 1019, H.D. 2 (Regular Session of 2021), was previously passed by the House and is preferred.

 

Your Committee has amended this measure by:

 

(1) Deleting its contents and inserting the contents of H.B. No. 1019, H.D. 2, a substantially similar measure that:

 

(A) Establishes the Ocean Stewardship Special Fund until June 30, 2026, to support the conservation, restoration, and enhancement of the State's marine resources;

 

(B) Statutorily establishes an ocean stewardship user fee to apply to residents as well as non-residents;

 

(C) Initially sets the ocean stewardship user fee at $1 per passenger or customer and requires that the user fee be adjusted for inflation every five years; provided that the fee cannot be adjusted more than ten percent every five years; and

 

(D) Begins collection of the ocean stewardship user fee on January 1, 2024;

 

(2) Repealing and abolishing the Ocean Stewardship Special Fund on June 30, 2030, instead of June 30, 2026; and

 

(3) Changing its effective date to upon approval.

 

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 S.B. No. 1173, S.D. 2, as amended herein, and recommends that it pass Second Reading in the form attached hereto as S.B. No. 1173, S.D. 2, 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