STAND. COM. REP. NO. 188
RE: S.B. No. 742
Honorable Ronald D. Kouchi
President of the Senate
Thirty-Second State Legislature
Regular Session of 2023
State of Hawaii
Your Committee on Higher Education, to which was referred S.B. No. 742 entitled:
"A BILL FOR AN ACT RELATING TO AGRICULTURE,"
begs leave to report as follows:
The purpose and intent of this measure is to establish and appropriate funds for one full-time equivalent (1.0 FTE) permanent Educational Support Associate position within the University of Hawaii College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources' Kona Cooperative Extension.
Your Committee received testimony in support of this measure from the University of Hawai‘i System; Hawaii Coffee Association; Island Harvest Inc.; Kona Coffee Farmers Association; Hawai‘i Farm Bureau; and one individual.
Your Committee finds that the research, outreach, and education provided by the University of Hawaii College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources' Kona Cooperative Extension play a crucial role in supporting Hawaii's agricultural growers, particularly those impacted by pests, disease, and production issues. In 2021-2022, coffee alone was valued at more than $113,000,000, the third highest commodity in the State, yet repeated requests for additional Extension staff to help support this highly valued industry, and other agricultural industries throughout the State, have been denied. The Extension continues, like it has been for years, to operate with just one Educational Support Associate, whose purview includes all coffee and orchard crops. To increase the capacity of the University of Hawaii College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources' Kona Cooperative Extension, this measure funds an additional Educational Support Associate to support coffee and orchard crop industries and growers.
Your Committee has amended this measure by making technical, nonsubstantive amendments for the purposes of clarity and consistency.
As affirmed by the record of votes of the members of your Committee on Higher Education that is attached to this report, your Committee is in accord with the intent and purpose of S.B. No. 742, as amended herein, and recommends that it pass Second Reading in the form attached hereto as S.B. No. 742, S.D. 1, and be referred to your Committee on Ways and Means.
Respectfully submitted on behalf of the members of the Committee on Higher Education,
DONNA MERCADO KIM, Chair