HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
THIRTY-SECOND LEGISLATURE, 2023
STATE OF HAWAII
A BILL FOR AN ACT
RELATING TO AGRICULTURE.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF HAWAII:
SECTION 1. The legislature finds that local agriculture is essential to Hawaii. Eighty-five per cent of all food consumed in the State is imported, leaving Hawaii vulnerable to natural disasters and supply chain disruptions. Increasing the amount of food produced locally is key to reducing the need for imported foods.
The legislature further finds that if left dependent on imports, Hawaii residents will experience greater volatility in the price and availability of food because of the impact of climate change on national and global food production. It can no longer be assumed that there will always be an unlimited supply of affordable food from overseas to feed Hawaii's population.
The legislature recognizes, however, that high costs in the State limit the competitiveness of local agriculture and have undermined efforts to expand local food production. Direct support for local agricultural producers can help overcome the high costs faced by Hawaii's agricultural sector. The creation of an agricultural investment program will allow the department of agriculture to invest in agricultural producers to support the State's economy and alleviate financial strains on the local agricultural sector.
Accordingly, the purpose of this Act is to establish the Hawaii agricultural investment program to provide a dedicated funding source for the local agricultural sector.
SECTION 2. Chapter 141, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is amended by adding a new section to part I to be appropriately designated and to read as follows:
"§141- Hawaii agricultural investment program. (a) There is established within the department of agriculture the Hawaii agricultural investment program.
(b) Subject to legislative appropriation, moneys in the Hawaii agricultural investment program shall be awarded as matching grants to:
(1) Acquire or improve real property, irrigation systems, and transportation networks to promote agricultural production or processing activities;
(2) Purchase or improve equipment and technology for agricultural production or processing activities;
(3) Promote workforce development and labor solutions for agricultural production and processing;
(4) Conduct research on and testing of agricultural products and markets;
(5) Promote and market agricultural products grown or raised in the State;
(6) Promote food safety training and education to promote agricultural production and market development; and
(7) Perform any other immediate response activities intended to support agricultural production or processing that will lead to the reduced import of food, fodder, or feed from outside the State.
(c) The following standards shall apply to all grants awarded through the Hawaii agricultural investment program:
(1) Any grant shall be used exclusively for the purposes of the program;
(2) The applicant shall indicate capability to properly use the grant to promote agricultural production;
(3) Every $3 of a grant awarded through the program and paid from state funds shall be matched by $1 paid from federal, private, or other sources;
(4) The grantee shall comply with all applicable federal and state laws prohibiting discrimination against any person on the basis of race, color, national origin, religion, creed, sex, age, sexual orientation, disability, or any other characteristic protected under applicable federal or state law;
(5) The grant shall not be used for purposes of entertainment or perquisites;
(6) The grantee shall comply with other requirements as the department may prescribe;
(7) All activities undertaken with grant funds received shall comply with all applicable federal, state, and county statutes and ordinances;
(8) The grantee shall:
(A) Indemnify and hold harmless the State of Hawaii and its officers, agents, and employees from and against any and all claims arising out of or resulting from activities carried out or projects undertaken with funds received from the program; and
(B) Obtain sufficient insurance to provide the indemnification under subparagraph (A), if requested to do so by the department of agriculture; and
(9) The grantee shall agree to make available to the department of agriculture all records the grantee may have relating to the grant to monitor the grantee's compliance with the requirements of the program.
(d) The department of agriculture shall submit a report to the legislature no later than twenty days prior to the convening of each regular session on the status and progress of existing programs and activities and the status of new programs and activities funded under the Hawaii agricultural investment program. The report shall also include:
(1) An accounting of all moneys expended by the Hawaii agricultural investment program;
(2) Descriptions of the markets targeted for expenditures, including the reasons for selecting those markets;
(3) A discussion of the persons who will be served by the expenditures; and
(4) The specific objectives of the expenditures, including measurable outcomes."
SECTION 3. There is appropriated out of the general revenues of the State of Hawaii the sum of $ or so much thereof as may be necessary for fiscal year 2023-2024 and the same sum or so much thereof as may be necessary for fiscal year 2024-2025 for the department of agriculture to establish the Hawaii agricultural investment program to support local agricultural producers.
The sums appropriated shall be expended by the department of agriculture for the purposes of this Act.
SECTION 4. New statutory material is underscored.
SECTION 5. This Act shall take effect on June 30, 3000.
Hawaii Agricultural Investment Program; DOA; Reports; Appropriation
Establishes the Hawaii agricultural investment program to support local agricultural producers. Requires annual reports. Appropriates funds. Effective 6/30/3000. (HD1)
The summary description of legislation appearing on this page is for informational purposes only and is not legislation or evidence of legislative intent.