Honolulu, Hawaii



RE:    H.B. No. 503

       H.D. 1

       S.D. 1




Honorable Donna Mercado Kim

President of the Senate

Twenty-Eighth State Legislature

Regular Session of 2015

State of Hawaii




     Your Committee on Ways and Means, to which was referred H.B. No. 503, H.D. 1, entitled:




begs leave to report as follows:


     The purpose and intent of this measure is to provide funding for fiscal year 2016-2017 to pursue drought mitigation projects and measures in each county of the State.


     Your Committee received written comments in support of this measure from the Department of Land and Natural Resources, Department of Agriculture, Hawaii Farm Bureau, Land Use Research Foundation of Hawaii, Ulupono Initiative, and Hawaii Crop Improvement Association.


     Your Committee finds that a viable agricultural industry requires a steady, reliable water supply that is immune to adverse drought conditions.  Your Committee also finds that, in 2004, the counties developed drought mitigation strategies to address the local needs and concerns of each county.  These strategies are incorporated by reference into the Hawaii drought plan, the purpose of which is to develop coordinated emergency response mechanisms and outline steps toward reducing the effects of future drought occurrences.  The Hawaii drought plan provides clear guidance and strategies for mitigating and responding to drought conditions.


     Your Committee believes that to address the harmful impact of droughts, the Hawaii drought plan's mitigation measures must be implemented.  Your Committee also believes that the counties require sufficient funding to adequately implement the Hawaii drought plan and address the challenges that the State's agricultural industry faces in preparing for droughts.


     Your Committee has amended this measure by:


     (1)  Changing the appropriation provision for fiscal year 2016-2017 to include both years of the fiscal 2015-2017 biennium; and 


     (2)  Changing the effective date to July 1, 2051, to facilitate further discussion on the measure.


     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 H.B. No. 503, H.D. 1, as amended herein, and recommends that it pass Third Reading in the form attached hereto as H.B. No. 503, H.D. 1, S.D. 1.


Respectfully submitted on behalf of the members of the Committee on Ways and Means,