STAND. COM. REP. NO. 352

 

Honolulu, Hawaii

 

RE: S.B. No. 1248

 

 

 

Honorable Ronald D. Kouchi

President of the Senate

Thirty-First State Legislature

Regular Session of 2021

State of Hawaii

 

Sir:

 

Your Committees on Agriculture and Environment and Energy, Economic Development, and Tourism, to which was referred S.B. No. 1248 entitled:

 

"A BILL FOR AN ACT RELATING TO AGRICULTURAL ENTERPRISES,"

 

beg leave to report as follows:

 

The purpose and intent of this measure is to establish a new agricultural enterprise program within the Department of Agriculture to plan, design, construct, operate, manage, maintain, repair, demolish, and remove infrastructure on any lands under the jurisdiction of the Department, to support and promote agriculture, and to accept the transfer of qualifying agricultural enterprises and agricultural enterprise lands from the Department of Land and Natural Resources for the program.

 

Your Committees received testimony in support of this measure from the Department of Agriculture; Larry Jefts Farms, LLC; Kauai Nursery & Landscaping, Inc.; Lokelani Ranch/7th Veil, LLC; Kau Royal Hawaiian Coffee and Tea, LLC; Land Use Research Foundation of Hawaii; East Oahu County Farm Bureau; Ulupalakua Ranch; Hawaii Crop Improvement Association; Hawaii Cattlemen's Council, Inc.; MetroGrow Hawaii; Ponoholo Ranch Limited; Hawaii Farm Bureau; Jay's Hog Farm; Ulupono Initiative LLC; Hawaii Aquaculture & Aquaponics Association; MauiGrown Coffee, Inc.; Scott E. Enright Company, LLC; Kualoa Ranch Hawaii; Ag Matters, LLC; and ten individuals.

 

Your Committees find that article XI, section 3, of the Hawaii State Constitution establishes in part that the "State shall conserve and protect agricultural lands, promote diversified agriculture, increase agricultural self-sufficiency and assure the availability of agriculturally suitable lands." Your Committees further find that many diversified farming operations do not have adequate resources to expand or maximize their productivity. Your Committees believe that it is in the State's best interest to give the Department of Agriculture flexibility to move forward with agricultural educational training, farmers' markets, and food hubs and processing facilities on state agricultural lands to promote and support diversified agriculture and ensure agricultural sustainability.

 

As affirmed by the records of votes of the members of your Committees on Agriculture and Environment and Energy, Economic Development, and Tourism that are attached to this report, your Committees are in accord with the intent and purpose of S.B. No. 1248 and recommend that it pass Second Reading and be referred to your Committee on Ways and Means.

 

Respectfully submitted on behalf of the members of the Committees on Agriculture and Environment and Energy, Economic Development, and Tourism,

 

________________________________

GLENN WAKAI, Chair

 

________________________________

MIKE GABBARD, Chair