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Your Farm Bureau
A Service of Hawaii Farm Bureau Federation

July 10, 2013

Aloha Friends,

The 2013 Legislative session is pau and many of our initiatives are now State Law.

This session featured more than its share of political gamesmanship. Selection of a new House speaker and resultant committee leadership changes (including in House and Senate Agriculture) set the stage for challenges to be tackled throughout the session. Yet, in a session where political squabbles threatened even the most benign legislation, HFBF and our partners were successful in passing several important initiatives including funding for irrigation systems statewide, 4-H and FFA programs, livestock feed subsidy, bio security, procurement, and building code and permit exemptions for low risk non-residential structures.

Our legislative team worked tirelessly with legislators, members, partners, and friends to help pass favorable bills while opposing those that were detrimental. Even when success seemed out of reach, your team never quit, our energy remained high, our focus narrowed; and the results are significant and under budget.

Taken together they demonstrate what we can accomplish when we work together.

Special thanks are due to Janet Ashman and Brian Miyamoto, Dean Okimoto, Fred Mencher, Ron Weidenbach, Alan Gottlieb, The Local Food Coalition, and all those who soldiered through public and private meetings and conference calls to keep driving toward our goals.

We would again like to express our appreciation to all those who participated in this collaborative effort; HFBF members, volunteers and staff, countless organizations and individuals, legislators and their staff, State and County officials; who all share in past successes and future victories.

Chris Manfredi
Scott McFarland
Co-Chairs, Government Affairs

Your committee:
Janet Ashman
Luana Beck
Dawn Bicoy
Randy Cabral
Stephanie Delmont
Reggie Hasegawa
Fred Mencher
Brian Miyamoto
Jason Moniz
Mae Nakahata
Dean Okimoto
Alan Takemoto
Warren Watanabe
Jeanne Vana

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The following represents measures important to agriculture PASSED in the 2013 Regular Session of Hawaii’s State Legislature:

SB5 SD1 HD1 CD1, Act 234
Provides several means of compensation in addition to rent reductions when the State withdraws, condemns, or takes public land leased for intensive agricultural or pastoral uses and renders the land unusable for the original purposes of the lease.

SB326 SD1 HD1 CD1, Act 106
Creates and appropriates funds for a Good Agricultural Practices Task Force to identify and develop food safety guidelines for locally farmed products. DOA budgeted $100K in their budget for Task Force. HFBF is member of Task Force.

SB327 SD1 HD1, Act 55
Amends the Hawaii State Planning Act objectives and policies for the economy to support the purchase and consumption of locally grown food and food products.

SB482 SD1 HD1, Act 131
Clarifies the maximum number of gallons of honey that can be sold by a certified honey house or food processing establishment without obtaining a permit from the Department of Health. Exempts from the permit requirement sales of honey directly to retail stores that in turn sell the honey directly to consumers. Requires honey producers to include certain wording on labels of each container of honey, take a food safety class, and make records available to the Department of Health. Exempts the State and counties from liability.

SB586 SD1 HD2 CD1, Act 203
Provides, under certain circumstances, an exemption from building code requirements and expands existing building permit exemptions for specific nonresidential agricultural buildings or structures, including indigenous Hawaiian hale, on commercial farms and ranches located outside the urban district.

SB593 SD2 HD1 CD1, Act 200
Assist Hawaii’s Livestock Industry by providing $1.5M in feed subsidies to qualified beef cattle, dairy, hog, poultry, goat, sheep, fish, and crustacean farms.

SB757 SD2 HD2 CD1 Act 204
Appropriates $75K to the Department of Education to operate and implement the Future Farmers of America program.

SB993 SD2 HD1 CD1, Act 201
Expands the Department of Agriculture's agricultural loan program by adding farm innovation and expanding the definition of a new farmer.

SB995 HD1 CD1, Act 107
Allows for an Engineering Program Administrator to oversee the responsibilities mandated by chapter 167, Hawaii Revised Statutes, for irrigation water development.

HB200 HD1 SD1 CD1, Act 134 State Budget
Budget highlights include:
$75K 4-H funding included in budget
Funding for the following irrigations systems: Waiahole ($2MM), Kunia ($2.5MM), Molokai ($2MM), Waimanalo ($1.5MM), Waimea ($2MM), Lower Hamakua Ditch($2.2MM), Upcountry Maui ($3MM), Ka’u ($5MM), Kekeha Shaft, and improvements to Waianae Ag Park and upcountry Maui agricultural park.

HB353 HD1 SD2 CD1, Act 198
Appropriates $250,000 in matching funds for each year of the 2013-2015 fiscal biennium for the Department of Agriculture to research and develop methods for the prevention and treatment of coffee berry borer infestations. Appropriates $300,000 in matching funds for the 2013-2014 fiscal year for the Department of Agriculture to fund efforts to control and mitigate the damage from coffee berry borer infestation.

HB673 HD2 SD2 CD1, Act 105
Requires the DOA to post certain information regarding restricted use pesticides on its website. Requires the Legislative Reference Bureau to study other states’ pesticide reporting requirements.

HB749 HD2 SD2 CD1, Act 99
Establishes the Hawaii agriculture workforce advisory board to promote agricultural self-sufficiency in the State. HFBF retains a seat on the Board.

HB1263 HD2 SD2, Act 199
Appropriates $75K for the operation and maintenance of the East Kauai Irrigation System and $45K for the Menehune Ditch.

The following represents measures important to agriculture that FAILED in the 2013 Regular Session of Hawaii’s State Legislature:

HB174 HD2
Imposes labeling requirements and import restrictions on imported genetically engineered produce. Authorizes labeling of non-genetically engineered food and creates a private right of action to enjoin violations.

HB487 HD2 SD2
Expands livestock feed subsidy to include feed for goats, sheep, lambs, fish, and crustaceans. Creates a subsidy for qualified feed developers. Appropriates funds. Authorizes the DOA to dispose of lands to and negotiate and enter into leases with the ADC. Exempts non-agricultural park lands disposed of to the ADC from section 166E-8(b)(2) and (5), HRS.

HB747 HD1 SD1
Leaves unspecified the agribusiness development corporation's limit on investments in qualified securities of any one enterprise. Makes an appropriation for the agribusiness development corporation to purchase agricultural land. This bill evolved into the Dole Foods land purchase bill.

HB903 HD2 SD1
Prohibits runoff. Authorizes the Department of Health to establish rules, fees, and management plans for cesspool owners and landowners whose land may generate runoff. Includes injunctive relief, enforcement, and penalty provisions.

HB1148
Requires the PUC to establish preferential rates for the purchase of energy that is used or consumed for agricultural activities

HB1264 HD2 SD2
Allows for agricultural loans to be administered for livestock biosecurity projects. Modifies new farmer loans and establishes a farm innovation loan program in the Department of Agriculture to promote the development of innovative technologies and to assist new farm enterprises.