STAND. COM. REP. NO. 575-22

 

Honolulu, Hawaii

, 2022

 

RE: H.B. No. 2305

H.D. 1

 

 

 

 

Honorable Scott K. Saiki

Speaker, House of Representatives

Thirty-First State Legislature

Regular Session of 2022

State of Hawaii

 

Sir:

 

Your Committee on Higher Education & Technology, to which was referred H.B. No. 2305 entitled:

 

"A BILL FOR AN ACT RELATING TO THE UNIVERSITY OF HAWAII,"

 

begs leave to report as follows:

 

The purpose of this measure is to appropriate funds to the University of Hawaii for the College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources to study diseases affecting the production of ornamental ginger on Oahu and the Neighbor Islands.

 

Your Committee received testimony in support of this measure from the University of Hawaii System, Hawaii Farm Bureau Federation, Hawaii Floriculture and Nursery Association, Hawaii Farm Bureau, Land Use Research Foundation of Hawaii, Hawaii Crop Improvement Association, East Oahu County Farm Bureau, Ponoholo Ranch Limited, and two individuals. Your Committee received comments on this measure from the Department of Budget and Finance.

 

Your Committee finds that ornamental ginger is a popular plant that is commonly used in tropical landscape designs; however, the commercial production of ornamental ginger has been declining for over a decade on Oahu. Your Committee further finds that red ginger growers in Windward Oahu have recently experienced a further drop in their ornamental red ginger plant production due to a variety of unknown viruses and fungi.

 

Producers in the affected areas are excavating their lands because they can no longer economically produce ornamental ginger in these areas. Neighboring farmers and off-island customers are concerned about the spread of pathogens. Reports of crop decline that originally started in the Kahaluu area of Oahu have spread to surrounding areas such as Waiahole and Waikane Valley.

 

Your Committee finds that this measure would help fund more research and prevention protocols through a multi-agency outreach approach to stop these pathogens from spreading further and affecting the profitability and long-term sustainability of the local ornamental and landscape production industries.

 

Your Committee has amended this measure by making technical, nonsubstantive amendments for the purposes of clarity, consistency, and style.

 

As affirmed by the record of votes of the members of your Committee on Higher Education & Technology that is attached to this report, your Committee is in accord with the intent and purpose of H.B. No. 2305, as amended herein, and recommends that it be referred to your Committee on Finance in the form attached hereto as H.B. No. 2305, H.D. 1.

 

 

Respectfully submitted on behalf of the members of the Committee on Higher Education & Technology,

 

 

 

 

____________________________

GREGG TAKAYAMA, Chair