STAND. COM. REP. NO. 567
RE: S.B. No. 572
Honorable Ronald D. Kouchi
President of the Senate
Thirty-First State Legislature
Regular Session of 2021
State of Hawaii
Your Committee on Water and Land, to which was referred S.B. No. 572 entitled:
"A BILL FOR AN ACT RELATING TO AQUATIC RESOURCES,"
begs leave to report as follows:
The purpose and intent of this measure is to strengthen the penalties for violations of the State's aquatic resources law by:
(1) Specifying that any equipment, article, instrument, aircraft, vehicle, vessel, or business record used in violation of the aquatic resources law is subject to forfeiture;
(2) Authorizing the imposition of a criminal fine;
(3) Clarifying that the fine structure may be assessed on a per-specimen basis;
(4) Making violations of the aquatic resources law a misdemeanor, rather than a petty misdemeanor; and
(5) Permitting the Department of Land and Natural Resources to recommend community service that benefits the resource damaged when a person is ordered to perform community service in lieu of a fine.
Your Committee received testimony in support of this measure from the Hawaii Reef and Ocean Coalition, Animal Rights Hawai‘i, and two individuals. Your Committee received testimony in opposition to this measure from the Ocean Tourism Coalition and Calypso Charters. Your Committee received comments on this measure from the Department of Land and Natural Resources.
Your Committee finds that allowing funds from fines to be collected and deposited into the Conservation and Resources Enforcement Special Fund could be used to support the Department's law enforcement efforts through its Conservation and Resources Enforcement Program.
Your Committee has amended this measure by:
(1) Removing "for each specimen" since the Department of Land and Natural Resources already provides for per-specimen fines of up to $1,000 and $5,000 for the respective offenses;
(2) Maintaining violations as petty misdemeanors, to prevent a relapse of pleading down or dismissing aquatic resource cases;
(3) Providing that a fine of up to $1,000 may be levied for all other aquatic life taken, killed, or injured in violation of subtitle 5 of title 12, Hawaii Administrative Rules, or any rule adopted thereunder;
(4) Deleting the provision providing for seizure and forfeiture of property due to the Department of Land and Natural Resources' existing forfeiture authority under section 199-7, Hawaii Revised Statutes; and
(5) Making technical, nonsubstantive amendments for the purposes of clarity and consistency.
As affirmed by the record of votes of the members of your Committee on Water and Land that is attached to this report, your Committee is in accord with the intent and purpose of S.B. No. 572, as amended herein, and recommends that it pass Second Reading in the form attached hereto as S.B. No. 572, S.D. 1, and be referred to your Committees on Ways and Means and Judiciary.
Respectfully submitted on behalf of the members of the Committee on Water and Land,
LORRAINE R. INOUYE, Chair