STAND. COM. REP. NO. 950
RE: S.B. No. 335
Honorable Ronald D. Kouchi
President of the Senate
Thirty-First State Legislature
Regular Session of 2021
State of Hawaii
Your Committee on Ways and Means, to which was referred S.B. No. 335, S.D. 1, entitled:
"A BILL FOR AN ACT RELATING TO AGRICULTURE,"
begs leave to report as follows:
The purpose and intent of this measure is to improve and expand agriculture in the State.
More specifically, this measure requires:
(1) The Department of Agriculture and Agribusiness Development Corporation, beginning January 1, 2022, to annually lease at least fifty percent of land leased or up for lease renewal to operations whose primary business relates to local food production; and
(2) The Department of Agriculture to submit annual reports to the Legislature on its leasing activities.
Your Committee received written comments in support of this measure from a member of the Hawaii County Council, 350Hawaii, Aina Momona, Climate Protectors Hawaii, Environmental Caucus of the Democratic Party of Hawaii, Hawaii Alliance for Progressive Action, Hawaii SEED, Hawaii Tea Society, Kauai Climate Action Coalition, Kauai Food Hub, Malama Kauai, Our Revolution Hawaii, Pono Hawaii Initiative, Seymour Resources Hawaii, and numerous individuals.
Your Committee received written comments in opposition to this measure from the Department of Agriculture.
Your Committee received written comments on the measure from the Agribusiness Development Corporation.
Your Committee finds that the measure, as received by your Committee, will promote the State's goal of food self-sufficiency by prioritizing food production for local consumption. However, your Committee also believes that this goal would be more attainable if the Agribusiness Development Corporation and its Board of Directors were required to fully implement the recommendations of the State Auditor in the January 2021 report titled Audit of the Agribusiness Development Corporation: A Report to the Legislature of the State of Hawaii.
Your Committee has amended this measure by:
(1) Adding a requirement that the Agribusiness Development Corporation and its Board of Directors:
(A) Implement by January 1, 2023, the recommendations in the State Auditor's Report No. 21-01; and
(B) Submit to the Legislature a progress report twenty days before the Regular Session of 2022 and a final report by December 31, 2023;
(2) Changing the effective date to July 1, 2050, to facilitate further discussion on the measure; and
(3) Making technical nonsubstantive amendments for purposes of clarity, consistency, and style.
As affirmed by the record of votes of the members of your Committee on Ways and Means that is attached to this report, your Committee is in accord with the intent and purpose of S.B. No. 335, S.D. 1, as amended herein, and recommends that it pass Third Reading in the form attached hereto as S.B. No. 335, S.D. 2.
Respectfully submitted on behalf of the members of the Committee on Ways and Means,
DONOVAN M. DELA CRUZ, Chair