STAND. COM. REP. NO. 126

 

Honolulu, Hawaii

 

RE: S.B. No. 219

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 Agriculture and Environment, to which was referred S.B. No. 219 entitled:

 

"A BILL FOR AN ACT RELATING TO CRIMES ON AGRICULTURAL LANDS,"

 

begs leave to report as follows:

 

The purpose and intent of this measure is to impose extended terms of imprisonment for a person who commits a crime on agricultural land if the person knew or reasonably should have known that the crime was committed on agricultural land.

 

Your Committee received testimony in support of this measure from the Department of Agriculture; Agribusiness Development Corporation; Hawaii Cattlemen's Council, Inc.; Ulupono Initiative, LLC; and Hawaii Farm Bureau.

 

Your Committee finds that agricultural crime is a persistent problem in the State despite efforts to install cameras, form community watch groups, and patrol farms. Agricultural theft, vandalism, trespassing, and recently murder have occurred on state agricultural lands. This measure imposes extended terms of imprisonment for certain crimes committed on state agricultural lands to protect the agricultural industry, agricultural lands, public at-large, and acts as a deterrent to potential offenders.

 

Your Committee also finds that losing revenue and investing in repairs and security has the potential to push more local farmers and ranchers out of the agricultural sector, jeopardizing the State's ability to increase locally grown food in the State. An April 2020 report from the United States Department of Agriculture indicated that agricultural theft and crime cost Hawaii farm producers $14,400,000, or ten percent of the 2018 Hawaii net farm income of $142,000,000.

 

Your Committee has amended this measure by removing the specific intent requirement that the person knew or reasonably should have known that the crime was committed on agricultural land.

 

As affirmed by the record of votes of the members of your Committee on Agriculture and Environment that is attached to this report, your Committee is in accord with the intent and purpose of S.B. No. 219, as amended herein, and recommends that it pass Second Reading in the form attached hereto as S.B. No. 219, S.D. 1, and be referred to your Committee on Judiciary.

 

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

 

 

 

________________________________

MIKE GABBARD, Chair