STAND. COM. REP. NO. 1086
RE: H.B. No. 756
Honorable Ronald D. Kouchi
President of the Senate
Thirty-First State Legislature
Regular Session of 2021
State of Hawaii
Your Committees on Agriculture and Environment and Hawaiian Affairs, to which was referred H.B. No. 756, H.D. 2, entitled:
"A BILL FOR AN ACT RELATING TO THE BOARD OF AGRICULTURE,"
beg leave to report as follows:
The purpose and intent of this measure is to designate that one of the four at-large positions on the Board of Agriculture shall be filled by the Chairperson of the Hawaiian Homes Commission.
Your Committees received testimony in support of this measure from the Department of Hawaiian Home Lands, Office of Hawaiian Affairs, and Kawaihapai Ohana. Your Committees received testimony in opposition to this measure from two individuals. Your Committees received comments on this measure from the Department of Agriculture.
Your Committees find that the Department of Agriculture, headed by the Board of Agriculture, works to support, enhance, promote, and protect Hawaii's agriculture and aquaculture industries. The Hawaiian Homes Commission Act authorizes the Department of Hawaiian Home Lands to lease agricultural lands or lands used for aquaculture purposes. A position on the Board of Agriculture will provide needed representation for native Hawaiian agricultural beneficiaries as an important part of the State's growing small-scale agricultural community. Additionally, the Department of Hawaiian Home lands currently represents the interests of 16,470 agricultural beneficiaries and 43,569 acres of agricultural lands and its agricultural program plan seeks to increase the issuance of agricultural homestead lots for lessees. As the State looks to increase food security statewide, the interests of agricultural homestead lessees should be represented on the Board of Agriculture. Thus, the addition of the Chairperson of the Hawaiian Homes Commission will provide a voice on the Board of Agriculture for the Department of Hawaiian Home Lands as a major and long-standing stakeholder in our State's agricultural landscape, facilitating their contribution to our State's economic resilience and food self-sufficiency.
Your Committees have heard concerns expressed by the Department of Agriculture that adding the Chairperson of the Hawaiian Homes Commission to the Board of Agriculture would provide opportunities for other stakeholder groups to request further expansion of the Board, thus compromising its ability to govern efficiently.
Your Committees have amended this measure by:
(1) Providing that the Chairperson of the Hawaiian Homes Commission shall not join the Board of Agriculture until the next expiration of a currently serving at-large member's term;
(2) Removing the sunset date; and
(3) Making technical, nonsubstantive amendments
for the purposes of clarity and consistency.
As affirmed by the records of votes of the members of your Committees on Agriculture and Environment and Hawaiian Affairs that are attached to this report, your Committees are in accord with the intent and purpose of H.B. No. 756, H.D. 2, as amended herein, and recommend that it pass Second Reading in the form attached hereto as H.B. No. 756, H.D. 2, S.D. 1, and be referred to your Committee on Judiciary.
Respectfully submitted on behalf of the members of the Committees on Agriculture and Environment and Hawaiian Affairs,
MAILE S.L. SHIMABUKURO, Chair
MIKE GABBARD, Chair