Legislation

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A Service of Hawaii Farm Bureau

June 16, 2016

Hawaii Farm Bureau is pleased with the level of success gained in 2016 on behalf of our members and the entire agricultural community. We develop our package collaboratively calling upon member participation from all corners of the State. We’ve developed a scoring system by which we prioritize our initiatives. We work hard to communicate effectively with our members, our partners and lawmakers. We strive to be as open and inclusive as possible, while remaining nimble and managing our resources for maximum efficiency.

HFB introduced a total of 13 priority measures this session, all of which earned a public hearing. We are pleased that of our initiatives introduced, HFB has effectively lobbied and received passage of five measures.

HFB’s Government Affairs Committee, comprised of leaders located throughout the state, began the 2016 Legislative Session by screening 3298 pieces of legislation. Of those measures, HFB tracked 924 bills; all requiring review, position and strategy development. We further prioritized, lobbied and testified in writing and in person.

While we are pleased, we recognize we can’t do it alone. We rely on many forms of support from our many partners. We thank each of you for your numerous contributions and look forward to strengthening the agricultural sector in Hawaii now and for generations to come.


HFB initiatives that passed the 2016 Legislature:

HFBF Grant in Aid (HFBF Priority #4).
Requested funding for research into alternative methods of satisfying the requirements of FSMA. HFB Grant received $400,000.

K-12 Agricultural Workforce Development (HFBF Priority #5).
HB1997 SD1 CD1. Appropriates moneys for full-time coordinator and workforce development specialist. $200,000 for one full-time equivalent.

Invasive species (HFBF Priority #6).
HB 1050 SD 2 CD 1. Appropriates moneys to address the spread of invasive species throughout the State that harms agriculture. $2,000,000

Irrigation systems (HFBF Priority #7).
HB 1700 HD 1 SD 1 CD 1. Appropriates funding for capital improvement projects to various irrigation systems statewide.

Livestock Feed Subsidy Extension (HFBF Priority #11).
HB 1999 HD 1 SD 2 CD 1. Establishes within the Livestock Revitalization Program a grant program for Qualified Feed Developers. Appropriates funds for the Feed Developer Grant Program and reimbursements to Qualified Producers for feed costs. $2,000,000 for DOA.


Other important measures that have passed the 2016 Legislature:

Endangered Species Recovery Committee
 HB1029 HD1 SD1. Amends the composition of the Endangered Species Recovery Committee by replacing the University of Hawaii Environmental Center’s Director with the Dean of the University of Hawaii at Manoa College of Natural Sciences.

Game Management Advisory Commission
HB1041 HD2 SD2 CD1. Establishes the Game Management Advisory Commission to serve in an advisory capacity to the Board of Land and Natural Resources. $40,000.

Contested Case Hearings
HB1581 HD2 SD2 CD1. Requires decisions in contested case hearings of the commission on water resource management, land use commission, public utilities commission, Hawaii community development authority, and those involving conservation districts to be appealed directly to the supreme court, with certain exceptions.

Reclaimed Water
HB1749 HD1 SD2 CD1. Amends the goals of the Hawaii water plan to include the utilization of reclaimed water for uses other than drinking and for potable water needs in one hundred percent of state and county facilities by December 31, 2045.

Water Pollution Control
HB1852 HD1 SD1 CD1. Clarifies that nonprofit organizations may receive loans from the Water Pollution Control Revolving Fund to engage in activities that are consistent with the Federal Water Pollution Control Act, including the planning, design, and construction of wastewater treatment works.

Big Island Dairy, LLC.
HB1982 SD1. Authorizes the issuance of special purpose revenue bonds to assist Big Island Dairy LLC with the operation of its dairy farm in Ookala.

Water Infrastructure Loan Program.
HB2029 HD1 SD2 CD1. Establishes the Water Infrastructure Loan Program under the Department of Agriculture. Allows the Department to make loans for the purchase and installation of water infrastructure improvements, equipment, and property. Establishes the water infrastructure special fund. Makes appropriation of $800,000.

Prohibition of Treated or Raw Sewage into State Waters
HB2030 HD1 SD2 CD1. Prohibits the discharge of treated or raw sewage into state waters after 12/31/2026 except when used to create clean energy.

Commission on Water Resource Management
HB2033 HD1 SD1. Allows the Director of Health to appoint a designee to serve as an ex officio voting member on the Commission on Water Resource Management.

Conservation Districts
HB2036 HD1 SD2 CD1. Establishes an automatic ninety day extension of the conservation district permit decision deadline beyond the time necessary to complete an environmental impact statement or contested case hearing, if required.

Water Security
HB2040 SD1 CD1. Establishes a two-year pilot program in the Department of Land and Natural Resources that enables public-private partnerships to provide funds for projects that increase water security.

Hydropower Facilities
HB2077 HD2 SD2 CD1. Permits hydroelectric facilities that are considered small hydropower facilities by the United States Department of Energy on agricultural district lands.

Water Rights
HB2501 HD2 SD2 CD1. Requires that where an application has been made for a lease to continue a previously authorized disposition of water rights, a holdover may be authorized annually until the pending application for the disposition of water rights is finally resolved or for a total of three consecutive one-year holdovers, whichever occurs sooner.

Agricultural Food Safety Certification Program
HB2582 HD1 SD1 CD1. Requires the Department of Agriculture to develop and implement an Agricultural Food Safety Certification Program that concurrently complies with the FDA Food Safety Modernization Act as it applies to farmers and ranchers. Authorizes and appropriates $200,000 for program staff.

 
Hawaii Renewable Resources, LLC
HB2593 HD1 SD1. Authorizes the issuance of special purpose revenue bonds in the amount of $30,000,000 to assist Hawaii Renewable Resources, LLC, with the development of facilities for food crop, animal feed, and renewable non-fossil fuel production on Oahu.

Hawaiian Commercial & Sugar Company and the Makena Beach and Golf Resort on Maui
HB2605 HD1 SD2 CD1. Appropriates $850,000 to establish, administer, and support job training and supportive services for individuals who are unemployed and dislocated due to the closure of Hawaiian Commercial & Sugar Company and the Makena Beach and Golf Resort on Maui.

 
East Kauai Irrigation System
SB2217 SD2 HD1 CD1. Appropriates $75,000 for operation, repair, maintenance, and improvement costs for the East Kauai Irrigation System by the East Kauai Water Users’ Cooperative.
Municipal Wastewater Systems
SB2583 HD1 CD1. Mandates the counties to approve the installation and use of composting toilets in areas that are inaccessible to municipal wastewater systems.

Interisland and Intra-island Ferry System
SB2618 SD1 HD2 CD1. Requires the department of transportation to conduct a feasibility study of establishing an interisland and intra-island ferry system. Makes an appropriation of $50,000  for the study.

Molokai Diversified Agricultural Revolving Loan Program
HB2657 HD2 SD2 CD1. Amends the Molokai diversified agricultural revolving loan program established by Act 387, SLH 1988, to provide cost reimbursements to Molokai farmers and ranchers to reimburse costs of mandated food safety compliance audits and other related costs.

Rapid Ohia Death
HB2675 HD1 SD2 CD1. Appropriates $300,000 for research to combat rapid ohia death.

Water Audits of Public Water Systems
SB2645 SD2 HD1 CD1. Requires the commission on water resource management to establish a program to provide technical assistance to the counties and public water systems to implement standardized water audits of public water systems. Makes an appropriation of $700,000.

Industrial Hemp Pilot Program
SB2659 SD2 HD1 CD1. Establishes an industrial hemp pilot program to allow the cultivation of industrial hemp and distribution of its seed in Hawaii through limited activities by licensee-agents of the board of agriculture for purposes of agricultural or academic research. Appropriates $425,000 for industrial hemp pilot program administrative costs and program coordinator and inspector positions within the department of agriculture. Repeals on June 30, 2021.

Threatened and Endangered Species
SB2906 HD2. Removes the sunset date on the use of new safe harbor agreements, habitat conservation plans, and incidental take licenses as recovery options for conserving and protecting the State’s threatened and endangered species.

Cesspools
SB3084 SD1 HD2 CD1. Amends the cesspool upgrade, conversion, or connection income tax credit by making it available for cesspools within a tax map key area in which more than one residence is connected to a large-capacity cesspool.

 
Business Development
SB3102 SD1 HD1 CD1. Requires DBEDT to develop, and state agencies to enter into, inter-agency agreements without entering into a memorandum of agreement or memorandum of understanding. Establishes the high-growth grant program and special fund to provide grants to qualified businesses for certain business development activities.
High Technology Development Corporation
SB3109 SD1 HD1 CD1. Requires that the fiscal year 2015-2016 appropriation to HTDC for the manufacturing development program shall lapse by 6/30/17 and not at the end of fiscal year 2015-2016. Appropriates $2,000,000 for the manufacturing development program for the 2016-2017 fiscal year.

Small Business Innovation Research
SB3110 SD1 HD1 CD1. Requires that the fiscal year 2015-2016 appropriation to DBEDT for HTDC to provide grants to businesses with a federal small business innovation research phase II or III award shall lapse by June 30, 2017, and not at the end of fiscal year 2015-2016. Appropriates $2,000,000 to DBEDT for HTDC to provide grants to businesses with a federal small business innovation research phase II or III award for fiscal year 2016-2017.

Food Security
HR4 HD1/ HCR22 HD1 SD1. Supporting game mammal, game bird, and fishing resources in order to promote sustainability and food security and to preserve long standing local and cultural practices.

Animal Quarantine Station in Halawa Valley
HCR34 HD1. Requesting the department of agriculture to examine the feasibility of both decommissioning and relocating the animal quarantine station in Halawa Valley.

Galbraith Estate
SR39. Urging the OHA to develop a plan for its five hundred eleven acres of the former Galbraith Estate.

Makai Lands of Kapua
SR46 SD1. Requesting the department of land and natural resources to engage in earnest negotiations with the current land owners of the makai lands of Kapua to acquire those lands on behalf of the state or to lease those lands in perpetuity on behalf of the state.

October of each year as “Farm to School Month”
SR96 SD1. Designating the month of October of each year as “Farm to School Month” in Hawaii to strengthen and support farm to school initiatives in Hawaii’s schools.

Prevention and Control of the Zika Virus
HR114. Requesting the president of the United States, governor of Hawaii, Hawaii’s congressional delegation, centers for disease control and prevention, and federal aviation administration to proactively work toward prevention and control of the Zika virus.

Agricultural Commerce
HR149 HD1/ HCR203 HD1. Requesting the department of agriculture to promote the expansion of agricultural commerce.

Plant Quarantine
HR144. Requesting the auditor to conduct a financial and management audit of the plant quarantine branch of the department of agriculture.

 

Measures that failed the 2015 Legislative Session:

Agricultural Crimes
HB 1996 & SB 2770.Establishes a two year Agricultural Theft Pilot Project in the Department of Agriculture to focus on investigation and prosecuting agricultural theft or agricultural vandalism in the County of Hawaii.

 
Hawaii Association of Conservation Districts
HB 2420 & SB 2990. Appropriate $100,000 for the Hawaii Association of Conservation Districts.

 
Energy Cost
HB 1995 & SB 2641. Requires the PUC to establish preferential rates for the purchase of energy that is used or consumed for agricultural activities. Requires the PUC to require electric and gas utilities to develop energy storage technology incentive programs to provide incentives to agricultural customers to acquire energy storage technology for use at the agricultural customers’ sites.

Invasive Species
HB 1994 & SB 2988. Seek additional funding for DOA and CTAHR for continued research and mitigation of the Macadamia Felted Coccid.

Farmers’ Markets
HB 1338 & SB 2989. Exempts non-potentially hazardous value added products from department of health permitting or inspection.

Endangered Species Crop Damage (HFBF Priority #10)
HCR 47.Requesting the Department of Agriculture to convene a task force to document and collect data identifying economic, environmental, and regulatory consequences of crop degradation caused by invasive and endangered species.

Crop Damage
HB 2421 & SB 3030. Requires the Department of Land and Natural Resources to research the interaction of the Hawaiian coot, moorhen, Nene goose, stilt, and duck with agricultural practices and publish an annual report in a format that assists the agricultural industry in economically and environmentally interacting with the specified species

Dam and Reservoir Working Group
HB 2054 & SB 3116. Establishes a Dam and Reservoir Working Group to ensure and enhance the continued availability and operation of dams and reservoirs in the State of Hawaii.


HFB initiatives introduced listed in priority order:

Agricultural Crimes
HB 1996 & SB 2770.Establishes a two year Agricultural Theft Pilot Project in the Department of Agriculture to focus on investigation and prosecuting agricultural theft or agricultural vandalism in the County of Hawaii.

Hawaii Association of Conservation Districts
HB 2420 & SB 2990. Appropriate $100,000 for the Hawaii Association of Conservation Districts.

Energy Costs
HB 1995 & SB 2641. Requires the PUC to establish preferential rates for the purchase of energy that is used or consumed for agricultural activities. Requires the PUC to require electric and gas utilities to develop energy storage technology incentive programs to provide incentives to agricultural customers to acquire energy storage technology for use at the agricultural customers’ sites.

Food Safety Modernization Act (GIA).Request $2 million in funding for research into alternative methods of satisfying the requirements of the Food Safety Modernization Act. Funding to be administered by the Hawaii Farm Bureau Federation.

Agriculture Workforce Development
HB 1997 & SB 2772. Implements a K-12 Agriculture Workforce Development Pipeline Initiative in DLIR to conduct trainings for teachers and school administrators in agricultural self-sufficiency.

Biosecurity
HB 1998 & SB 2771. To address the invasive species issue that directly affects Hawaii’s agricultural industry. Requires DOA to establish or participate in private-public partnerships to enhance the biosecurity program and quarantine inspection process.

Irrigation Systems
HB 502 & SB 3031. To appropriate funding for capital improvement projects to various irrigation systems statewide.

Invasive Species
HB 1994 & SB 2988. Seek additional funding for DOA and CTAHR for continued research and mitigation of the Macadamia Felted Coccid.

Farmers’ Markets
HB 1338 & SB 2989. Exempts non-potentially hazardous value added products from department of health permitting or inspection.

Endangered species crop damage
HCR 47.Requesting the Department of Agriculture to convene a task force to document and collect data identifying economic, environmental, and regulatory consequences of crop degradation caused by invasive and endangered species.

Livestock Feed Subsidy Extension
HB 1999 & SB 2959. To continue to fund the livestock revitalization program to administer disburse funds to qualified sheep, goat, cattle, dairy, hog, and poultry, fish, and crustacean farms.

Crop Damage
HB 2421 & SB 3030. Requires the Department of Land and Natural Resources to research the interaction of the Hawaiian coot, moorhen, Nene goose, stilt, and duck with agricultural practices and publish an annual report in a format that assists the agricultural industry in economically and environmentally interacting with the specified species

Dam and Reservoir Working Group
HB 2054 & SB 3116. Establishes a Dam and Reservoir Working Group to ensure and enhance the continued availability and operation of dams and reservoirs in the State of Hawaii.

 


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