STAND. COM. REP. NO. 1390
RE: H.B. No. 837
Honorable Ronald D. Kouchi
President of the Senate
Thirty-Second State Legislature
Regular Session of 2023
State of Hawaii
Your Committees on Agriculture and Environment and Water and Land, to which was referred H.B. No. 837, H.D. 1, entitled:
"A BILL FOR AN ACT RELATING TO THE STATE PLAN,"
beg leave to report as follows:
The purpose and intent of this measure is to:
(1) Establish green infrastructure objectives, policies, and priority guidelines for state facility systems, infrastructure, transit projects, and other areas in the Hawaii State Planning Act to improve the quality of life for residents and visitors;
(2) Add a definition of "green infrastructure"; and
(3) Require the Office of Planning and Sustainable Development, in partnership with the Greenhouse Gas Sequestration Task Force, to submit a report to the Legislature making recommendations for implementing the green infrastructure objectives, policies, and priority guidelines.
Your Committees received testimony in support of this measure from the Department of Land and Natural Resources, Hawai‘i Climate Change Mitigation and Adaptation Commission, Office of Planning and Sustainable Development, Climate Future Forum, Climate Protectors Hawai‘i, Hawai‘i Reef and Ocean Coalition, and four individuals.
Your Committees find that green infrastructure is a crucial tool to reduce urban temperatures and carbon emissions, improve air quality, and capture water to replenish the water table. Green infrastructure measures include usage of plant or soil systems, permeable pavement, stormwater harvesting and reuse, or landscaping to conserve water. As the State's natural resources are finite and fragile, additional protection of natural resources is needed to adapt to climate change, coastal erosion, and sea level rise. This measure reaffirms the State's commitment to climate change mitigation and adaptation by prioritizing natural solutions to meet the State's objectives, policies, and goals.
Your Committees have amended this measure by:
(1) Inserting an appropriation amount of $150,000 for:
(A) The establishment of one full-time equivalent (1.0 FTE) policy analyst position, which shall be exempt from chapter 76, Hawaii Revised Statutes; and
(B) Program funding;
(2) Amending section 1 to reflect its amended purpose; 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 Water and Land that are attached to this report, your Committees are in accord with the intent and purpose of H.B. No. 837, H.D. 1, as amended herein, and recommend that it pass Second Reading in the form attached hereto as H.B. No. 837, H.D. 1, S.D. 1, 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 Water and Land,
LORRAINE R. INOUYE, Chair
MIKE GABBARD, Chair