STAND. COM. REP. NO. 3496
RE: H.B. No. 2305
Honorable Ronald D. Kouchi
President of the Senate
Thirty-First State Legislature
Regular Session of 2022
State of Hawaii
Your Committees on Higher Education and Agriculture and Environment, to which was referred H.B. No. 2305, H.D. 1, entitled:
"A BILL FOR AN ACT RELATING TO THE UNIVERSITY OF HAWAII,"
beg leave to report as follows:
The purpose and intent 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 red ginger on Oahu and the neighbor islands and to develop mitigation strategies for any identified diseases.
Your Committees received testimony in support of this measure from the Department of Agriculture; University of Hawai‘i System; Hawai‘i Farm Bureau; Land Use Research Foundation of Hawaii; Hawaii Crop Improvement Association; East Oahu County Farm Bureau; Hawaii Floriculture and Nursery Association; Mulkern Landscaping & Nursery; Hawaii Tropical Flowers and Foliage Association; Maui County Farm Bureau; and three individuals. Your Committees received comments on this measure from the Department of Budget and Finance.
Your Committees find that alpinia purpurata, known as ornamental red ginger or flowering ginger, is an herbaceous, perennial plant with bright red or pink floral bracts and inconspicuous white flowers that is popular for tropical landscape designs as well as floral displays. The plant is native to the Pacific Basin and was introduced to Hawaii, where it became naturalized sometime prior to 1930.
Your Committees also find that during recent years, ornamental red ginger growers on Oahu have been reporting outbreaks of diseases causing severe dieback that threaten their livelihood. Reports of crop decline, which originally started in the Kahaluu area of Oahu have spread to surrounding areas, raising concerns over the spread of pathogens. According to the University of Hawaii, the College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources and Department of Agriculture were able to identify the presence of various viruses and pathogens that are infecting ornamental ginger. This measure will allow funding for further research on infectious plant diseases to ensure that appropriate measures can be developed and implemented to mitigate or prevent further negative impacts on Hawaii's agriculture, environment, and economy.
As affirmed by the records of votes of the members of your Committees on Higher Education and Agriculture and Environment that are attached to this report, your Committees are in accord with the intent and purpose of H.B. No. 2305, H.D. 1, 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 Higher Education and Agriculture and Environment,
MIKE GABBARD, Chair
DONNA MERCADO KIM, Chair