STAND. COM. REP. NO. 1061
RE: S.B. No. 948
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 S.B. No. 948 entitled:
"A BILL FOR AN ACT RELATING TO INVASIVE SPECIES,"
begs leave to report as follows:
The purpose and intent of this measure is to reduce the damage caused by future natural disasters by mitigating the proliferation of albizia trees.
Specifically, this measure appropriates moneys to the Division of Forestry and Wildlife of the Department of Land and Natural Resources to coordinate the removal of invasive albizia trees that potentially threaten public and private land.
Your Committee received written comments in support of this measure from the University of Hawaii, Department of Land and Natural Resources, Hawaiian Electric, Hawaii Forest Industry Association, and five individuals.
Your Committee finds that the dangers posed by albizia trees were made clear in August 2014, when strong winds from Tropical Storm Iselle toppled thousands of albizia trees in Puna, blocking roads and disrupting power lines. Your Committee further finds that the disruption caused by the toppled albizia trees caused tens of thousands of people to be stranded for weeks without power and obstructed access by first responders to affected areas.
Your Committee has amended this measure by:
(1) Changing the effective date to July 1, 2050, to facilitate further discussion on the measure; and
(2) Making technical nonsubstantive amendments for purposes of clarity and style.
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 S.B. No. 948, as amended herein, and recommends that it pass Third Reading in the form attached hereto as S.B. No. 948, S.D. 1.
Respectfully submitted on behalf of the members of the Committee on Ways and Means,
DONOVAN M. DELA CRUZ, Chair