STAND. COM. REP. NO. 96

 

Honolulu, Hawaii

 

RE: S.B. No. 833

S.D. 1

 

 

 

Honorable Ronald D. Kouchi

President of the Senate

Thirty-Second State Legislature

Regular Session of 2023

State of Hawaii

 

Sir:

 

Your Committees on Water and Land and Agriculture and Environment, to which was referred S.B. No. 833 entitled:

 

"A BILL FOR AN ACT RELATING TO THE WAHIAWA IRRIGATION SYSTEM,"

 

beg leave to report as follows:

 

The purpose and intent of this measure is to require the Office of the Governor to negotiate the State's fee simple acquisition of the Wahiawa irrigation system on the island of Oahu and authorize and appropriate funds for the Department of Agriculture, Agribusiness Development Corporation, and Department of Land and Natural Resources to purchase, repair, and maintain the Wahiawa irrigation system and the associated spillway.

 

Your Committees received testimony in support of this measure from the Department of Agriculture; Ulupono Initiative; Hawaii Farm Bureau; Dole Food Company, Inc.; ILWU Hawaii Local 142; Luluku Farmers' Association; North Shore Neighborhood Board No. 27; Land Use Research Foundation of Hawaii; Environmental Caucus of the Democratic Party of Hawaii; Save Oahu Agriculture, a form letter signed by 1,046 individuals; and three individuals. Your Committees received comments on this measure from the Department of Land and Natural Resources.

 

Your Committees find that the Wahiawa irrigation system is a critical piece of infrastructure that provides water to farmers in Waialua and Haleiwa on the island of Oahu. Your Committees further find that Dole Food Company, Inc. has listed the irrigation system for sale. Your Committees believe that the acquisition and maintenance of the Wahiawa irrigation system and the associated spillway are in the public interest and will benefit the State by preserving the critical irrigation system for the agriculture industry. Therefore, this measure requires the Office of the Governor to negotiate the State's fee simple acquisition of the Wahiawa irrigation system and appropriates funds for its purchase, repair, and maintenance.

 

Your Committees have amended this measure by:

 

(1) Removing TMKs 7-3-005:005 and 7-3-013:03 from the list of properties to be acquired by the Department of Land and Natural Resources;

 

(2) Inserting an appropriation of an unspecified amount for the Department of Land and Natural Resources to manage and maintain its acquired portion of the Wahiawa irrigation system and to hire four full-time equivalent (4.0 FTE) positions;

 

(3) Inserting an effective date of July 1, 2050, to encourage further discussion; and

 

(4) 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 Water and Land and Agriculture and Environment that are attached to this report, your Committees are in accord with the intent and purpose of S.B. No. 833, as amended herein, and recommend that it pass Second Reading in the form attached hereto as S.B. No. 833, S.D. 1, and be referred to your Committee on Ways and Means.

 

Respectfully submitted on behalf of the members of the Committees on Water and Land and Agriculture and Environment,

 

________________________________

MIKE GABBARD, Chair

 

________________________________

LORRAINE R. INOUYE, Chair