STAND. COM. REP. NO. 226
RE: S.B. No. 999
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. 999 entitled:
"A BILL FOR AN ACT RELATING TO FORESTRY,"
begs leave to report as follows:
The purpose and intent of this measure is to authorize the issuance of general obligation bonds for the forest stewardship program of the Department of Land and Natural Resources to increase plant stocks, invest in public outreach, and renovate the equipment and facilities of the state tree nurseries.
Your Committee received testimony in support of this measure from the Department of Land and Natural Resources, University of Hawai‘i College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources, Environmental Caucus of the Democratic Party of Hawai‘i, and Climate Protectors Coalition.
Your Committee finds that the strategic planting of trees in agricultural landscapes may increase crop yield, improve soil health, provide habitat for wildlife, and provide a variety of other benefits. According to testimony received by your Committee, general obligation bonds are not eligible to finance an increase in plant stocks that provide beneficial functions in agricultural production and soil health nor invest in public outreach and education regarding the benefits and appropriate uses of trees and plants in agricultural settings. Your Committee further finds that there is a need to repair, update, and expand the infrastructure of the State's tree nurseries so that the Division of Forestry and Wildlife of the Department of Land and Natural Resources can provide high quality native, endangered, and windbreak trees and plants for the public and its reforestation projects.
Accordingly, your Committee has amended this measure by:
(1) Removing all references directing the use of general obligation bonds to expand planting stock and provide for public outreach and education; and
(2) 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. 999, as amended herein, and recommends that it pass Second Reading in the form attached hereto as S.B. No. 999, S.D. 1, and be referred to your Committee on Ways and Means.
Respectfully submitted on behalf of the members of the Committee on Water and Land,
LORRAINE R. INOUYE, Chair