HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

H.B. NO.

484

THIRTY-FIRST LEGISLATURE, 2021

 

STATE OF HAWAII

 

 

 

 

 

 

A BILL FOR AN ACT

 

 

RELATING TO AGRICULTURAL PRODUCTION.

 

 

BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF HAWAII:

 


SECTION 1. The legislature finds that the State's tropical flower industry forms an important part of both the agricultural sector of the economy and the wider economy as well. Residents and businesses in the State rely on local tropical flowers and foliage grown by local farmers to beautify their homes, businesses, restaurants, and hotels. Local flowers are also often given as gifts to our loved ones.

However, the legislature also finds that there is concern within the State's agricultural community that certain diseases that affect tropical flowers and foliage grown in the State have caused a decline in this industry. When the local supply of tropical flowers and foliage cannot meet local needs, tropical flowers and foliage must be imported from foreign countries, which in turn carries an elevated risk of inadvertently introducing other dangerous insects and diseases to the State's farms and plant nurseries. For example, in 2014, a new fungal pathogen known as rapid ohia death was identified on Hawaii Island. This deadly disease has decimated our native forests. The legislature further finds that there are other plant diseases and insects even more lethal and faster spreading than rapid ohia death that could potentially be introduced into the State, such as rust fungal disease. It is critical to prevent the introduction of these insects and diseases into the State to protect our critical agriculture industry.

Accordingly, the purpose of this Act is to minimize the risk of disease and pest introduction in the State by requiring the department of agriculture to collaborate with agricultural growers and researchers to develop and implement a program to safely distribute disease- and insect-free tropical plant materials to Hawaii farmers.

SECTION 2. Chapter 141, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is amended by adding a new section to part I to be appropriately designated and to read as follows:

"141- Tropical flower and foliage; plant material distribution program; established. (a) The department of agriculture shall develop and implement a program that:

(1) Obtains tropical plant materials from sources within the State and outside of the State;

(2) Diagnostically screens the tropical plant materials to ensure the materials are free of harmful insects and diseases;

(3) Propagates these disease- and insect-free tropical plant materials; and

(4) Distributes the plant materials to Hawaii farmers.

(b) In developing the program required by this section, the department of agriculture shall consult with:

(1) Tropical flower and foliage growers; and

(2) Agricultural research entities.

(c) The department of agriculture may adopt rules pursuant to chapter 91 to effectuate the purposes of this section."

SECTION 3. There is appropriated out of the general revenues of the State of Hawaii the sum of $ or so much thereof as may be necessary for fiscal year 2021-2022 and the same sum or so much thereof as may be necessary for fiscal year 2022-2023 to develop and implement the tropical flower and foliage plant material distribution program established by section 2 of this Act.

The sums appropriated shall be expended by the department of agriculture for the purposes of this Act.

SECTION 4. New statutory material is underscored.

SECTION 5. This Act shall take effect on July 1, 2021.

 

INTRODUCED BY:

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Report Title:

HDOA; Tropical Flowers and Foliage; Plant Materials; Distribution Program; Appropriations

 

Description:

Requires the Department of Agriculture to collaborate with agricultural growers and researchers to develop and implement a program to safely distribute disease- and insect-free tropical plant materials to Hawaii farmers. Appropriates funds.

 

 

 

The summary description of legislation appearing on this page is for informational purposes only and is not legislation or evidence of legislative intent.