STAND. COM. REP. NO. 162

 

Honolulu, Hawaii

 

RE: S.B. No. 743

 

 

 

Honorable Ronald D. Kouchi

President of the Senate

Thirty-Second State Legislature

Regular Session of 2023

State of Hawaii

 

Sir:

 

Your Committee on Agriculture and Environment, to which was referred S.B. No. 743 entitled:

 

"A BILL FOR AN ACT RELATING TO COFFEE PEST CONTROL,"

 

begs leave to report as follows:

 

The purpose and intent of this measure is to:

 

(1) Extend the sunset date for the Coffee Berry Borer Pesticide Subsidy Program to June 30, 2025, and the program manager position, including the position's civil service and collective bargaining laws exemption, to June 30, 2026;

 

(2) Require the Department of Agriculture to report to the Legislature; and

 

(3) Appropriate funds for the operation and implementation of the Pesticide Subsidy Program.

 

Your Committee received testimony in support of this measure from the Department of Agriculture, University of Hawaii System, Hawaii Farm Bureau, Hawaii Coffee Association, Maui County Farm Bureau, Kona Coffee Farmers Association, Kanalani Ohana Farm, and two individuals. Your Committee received testimony in opposition to this measure from two individuals.

 

Your Committee finds that the coffee berry borer (Hypothenemus hampei) is a significant coffee plant pest in Hawaii that impedes the production of coffee farms and threatens the economic well-being of small farmers in the State. Your Committee recognizes that the extension of the Coffee Berry Borer Pesticide Subsidy Program and program manager position will allow the Department of Agriculture to continue to support coffee farmers by partially offsetting the costs of purchasing certain pesticides and fungicides in order to control coffee berry borer populations and limit the spread of coffee leaf rust. This measure extends this program to June 30, 2025; extends the pesticide subsidy manager position until June 30, 2026; and appropriates additional funds for the program and position.

 

As affirmed by the record of votes of the members of your Committee on Agriculture and Environment that is attached to this report, your Committee is in accord with the intent and purpose of S.B. No. 743 and recommends that it pass Second Reading and be referred to your Committee on Ways and Means.

 

Respectfully submitted on behalf of the members of the Committee on Agriculture and Environment,

 

 

 

________________________________

MIKE GABBARD, Chair