STAND. COM. REP. NO. 1265-16

 

Honolulu, Hawaii

, 2016

 

RE: S.B. No. 1374

S.D. 2

H.D. 2

 

 

 

Honorable Joseph M. Souki

Speaker, House of Representatives

Twenty-Eighth State Legislature

Regular Session of 2016

State of Hawaii

 

Sir:

 

Your Committee on Agriculture, to which was referred S.B. No. 1374, S.D. 2, H.D. 1, entitled:

 

"A BILL FOR AN ACT RELATING TO LAND EXCHANGE,"

 

begs leave to report as follows:

 

The purpose of this measure is to fulfil the mandate of the Hawaii State Constitution to conserve and protect agricultural lands, promote diversified agriculture, increase agricultural self-sufficiency, and assure the availability of agriculturally suitable lands by requiring the Department of Agriculture to:

 

(1) Negotiate and, as appropriate, facilitate the exchange of state lands for lands owned by Dole Food Company, Inc. that are suitable for long-term diversified agricultural production, in accordance with state law;

 

(2) Coordinate with other state agencies that hold title to or an assignment of state lands that may be appropriate for exchange; provided that title to lands received by the State through an exchange transaction shall be transferred to the Agribusiness Development Corporation; and

 

(3) Submit a report to the Legislature prior to the 2017 Regular Session that includes the feasibility of acquiring through exchange lands of high interest to the State and necessary appropriations, legislation, and administrative actions to carry out the exchanges.

 

The Agribusiness Development Corporation, Dole Food Company Hawaii, Larry Jefts Farms, LLC, Hawaii Cattlemen's Council, Inc., Ponoholo Ranch, Hawaii Farm Bureau, Freely Associated States Empowerment, Sierra Club of Hawaii Oahu Group, Hoomana Pono, LLC., Land Use Research Foundation of Hawaii and several concerned individuals supported this measure. The Department of Agriculture supported the intent of this measure. The Department of Land and Natural Resources, Office of Hawaiian Affairs, and Chamber of Commerce Hawaii submitted comments on this measure.

 

Your Committee has amended this measure by:

 

(1) Clarifying that the Department of Agriculture is required to negotiate, but not facilitate, land exchanges with Dole Food Company, Inc.;

 

(2) Deleting the requirement that title to lands received by the State through exchange transactions be transferred to the Agribusiness Development Corporation;

 

(3) Clarifying that the report from the Department of Agriculture to the Legislature regarding the feasibility of exchanging parcels of high interest to the State include the description and market value of the high interest parcels; and

 

(4) Making technical, nonsubstantive amendments for consistency, clarity, and style.

 

Your Committee respectfully informs the Committee on Finance that S.B. No. 1374 S.D. 2 provided for an appropriation of $400,000 from the Hawaii Agricultural Development Revolving Fund to investigate the possibility of acquiring specified parcels owned by Dole Food Company, Inc. that are suitable for long-term diversified agricultural production. This appropriation was subsequently deleted.

 

As affirmed by the record of votes of the members of your Committee on Agriculture that is attached to this report, your Committee is in accord with the intent and purpose of S.B. No. 1374, S.D. 2, H.D. 1, as amended herein, and recommends that it be referred to your Committee on Finance in the form attached hereto as S.B. No. 1374, S.D. 2, H.D. 2.

Respectfully submitted on behalf of the members of the Committee on Agriculture,

 

 

 

 

____________________________

CLIFT TSUJI, Chair