Honolulu, Hawaii



RE:     H.B. No. 690

        H.D. 1

        S.D. 2




Honorable Ronald D. Kouchi

President of the Senate

Thirty-Second State Legislature

Regular Session of 2023

State of Hawaii




     Your Committee on Ways and Means, to which was referred H.B. No. 690, H.D. 1, S.D. 1, entitled:




begs leave to report as follows:


     The purpose and intent of this measure is to facilitate agricultural investment.


     Specifically, the measure:


     (1)  Establishes within the Department of Agriculture the Hawaii agricultural investment program, which is intended to provide matching grants for certain agricultural programs and activities;


     (2)  Requires the Department of Agriculture to submit to the Legislature annual reports regarding the programs and activities funded under the Hawaii agricultural investment program; and


     (3)  Appropriates moneys to the Department of Agriculture to establish the Hawaii agricultural investment program and two full-time equivalent (2.0 FTE) positions within the program.


     Your Committee received written comments in support of this measure from the Ulupono Initiative, Hawaii Cattlemen's Council, Local Food Coalition, Hawaii Farmers Union United, Hawaii Alliance for Progressive Action, and two individuals.


     Your Committee received written comments on this measure from the Office of Hawaiian Affairs, Hawaii Department of Agriculture, Hawaii Farm Bureau, and Humane Society of the United States.


     Your Committee recognizes that more than eighty-five percent of all food consumed in the State is imported, and that food security is a top priority.  Your Committee finds that a dedicated source of funding for agricultural programs and activities will help alleviate the financial burdens that affect the State's agricultural sector.


     Your Committee has amended this measure by:


     (1)  Establishing the Hawaii agricultural investment program within and appropriating related moneys to the Agribusiness Development Corporation, rather than the Department of Agriculture;


     (2)  Deleting a provision requiring that every $3 of a grant awarded through the program and paid from state funds be matched by $1 paid from federal, private, or other sources; and


     (3)  Requiring that the annual report to the Legislature regarding the programs and activities funded under the program include an assessment of the number of socially disadvantaged farmers and ranchers served by the program.


     As affirmed by the record of votes of the members of your Committee on Ways and Means that is attached to this report, your Committee is in accord with the intent and purpose of H.B. No. 690, H.D. 1, S.D. 1, as amended herein, and recommends that it pass Third Reading in the form attached hereto as H.B. No. 690, H.D. 1, S.D. 2.


Respectfully submitted on behalf of the members of the Committee on Ways and Means,