STAND. COM. REP. NO. 1551
RE: S.C.R. No. 137
Honorable Ronald D. Kouchi
President of the Senate
Thirty-Second State Legislature
Regular Session of 2023
State of Hawaii
Your Committees on Higher Education and Agriculture and Environment, to which was referred S.C.R. No. 137 entitled:
"SENATE CONCURRENT RESOLUTION REQUESTING THE UNIVERSITY OF HAWAII AT MANOA COLLEGE OF TROPICAL AGRICULTURE AND HUMAN RESOURCES TO CONVENE A WORKING GROUP TO EVALUATE UPDATING ITS EXTENSION SITES,"
beg leave to report as follows:
The purpose and intent of this measure is to request the University of Hawaii at Manoa College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources to convene a working group to evaluate updating its extension sites.
Your Committees received testimony in support of this measure from the University of Hawai‘i System and Hawai‘i Farm Bureau.
Your Committees find that the agricultural research stations of the University of Hawaii at Manoa College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources (CTAHR) are critical to the provision of cutting-edge research and applied science solutions that address climate change, agricultural profitability, food safety, biosecurity, nutrition, and food security. While these research stations perform critical work, station infrastructure maintenance has long been deferred, inhibiting the stations' collective ability to respond to the research and education needs of the State's communities and growers. Investment in CTAHR's agricultural research stations is needed to prevent further loss of capacity, and convening a working group of governmental agencies, farming groups, and community stakeholders to evaluate cooperative extension sites for modernization initiatives is a necessary first step to addressing the infrastructure needs of these agricultural research stations.
Your Committees note that, per discussion with the University of Hawaii, CTAHR leadership meets with cooperative extension faculty and staff and community stakeholders on-site to identify the issues and needs of the research stations and the communities they serve. While valuable information is gathered during these visits, this information is not formally documented. Without reports, the Legislature, which has a vested interest in CTAHR and its agricultural research stations, lacks the means to monitor the needs of the agricultural research stations and the work of CTAHR more broadly. Amendments to this measure are therefore necessary to address this concern.
Accordingly, your Committees have amended this measure by:
(1) Inserting language requesting CTAHR to submit a report of its work, including the status of CTAHR's cooperative extension sites and staff, to the Legislature, in addition to the working group's report; and
(2) 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 Higher Education and Agriculture and Environment that are attached to this report, your Committees concur with the intent and purpose of S.C.R. No. 137, as amended herein, and recommend its adoption in the form attached hereto as S.C.R. No. 137, S.D. 1.
Respectfully submitted on behalf of the members of the Committees on Higher Education and Agriculture and Environment,
MIKE GABBARD, Chair
DONNA MERCADO KIM, Chair