Legislation

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A Service of Hawaii Farm Bureau

May 23, 2017

Hawaii Farm Bureau is pleased with the level of success gained in 2017 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 14 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 eight measures.

HFB’s Government Affairs Committee, comprised of leaders located throughout the state, began the 2016 Legislative Session by screening 2,918 pieces of legislation. Of those measures, HFB tracked 451 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 2017 Legislature:

Hawaii Association of Conservation Districts (#1 HFB Priority)
SB 808, SD1, HD1, CD1. Appropriates $450,000 from the special land and development fund to the Department of Land and Natural Resources for the operational expenses and staffing costs of the Hawaii Association of Conservation Districts.

Waiahole Irrigation (#2 HFB Priority)
HB 100, HD1, SD1, CD1 – State Budget. Appropriates $4,000,000 for the capital improvements for the Waiahole Irrigation System.

Biosecurity (#3 HFB Priority)
HB 1325, HD1, SD1, CD1 – Clift Tsuji Act.  Appropriates $1,200,000 out of the agricultural development and food security special fund for the biosecurity program of the Department of Agriculture.

Food Safety and Modernization Act (#4 HFB Priority)
HB 453, HD1, SD1, CD1.  Appropriates $500,000 the Department of Agriculture to provide grants to farmers to assist them in paying for the costs of compliance with the FDA Food Safety Modernization Act, FDA regulations, and state food safety laws.

Bona fide Agricultural Producer Task Force (#7 HFB Priority)
SCR 77, SD1. Establishes a temporary task force for the purpose of creating a single definition of “bona fide agricultural producer” to be used across state government or creating different definitions to be applied for different uses.

Rose-Ringed Parakeet (#8 HFB Priority)
HB 655, HD1, SD1, CD1.  Appropriates $75,000 to the Department of Land and Natural Resources to assist and provide supplemental funds to the National Wildlife Research Center of the U.S. Department of Agriculture to research the adverse effects of the rose-ringed parakeet on Kauai and develop and begin implementation of a control plan to reduce the negative impacts

Agriculture Workforce Development (#10 HFB Priority)
HB 100, HD1, SD1, CD1 – State Budget. Appropriates $200,000 to the Department of Labor and Industrial Relations for the Agriculture Workforce Development initiative.

Crop Degradation by Invasive and Endangered Species (#13 HFB Priority)
SR 26, SD1.  Requests that the Department of Agriculture and Department of Land and Natural Resources identify economic, environmental, and regulatory consequences of crop degradation caused by invasive and endangered species in Hawaii and to submit a report of their findings, to include any proposed legislation, to the Legislature prior to the 2018 Legislative Session.

Other important measures that have passed the 2017 Legislature:
Coffee Berry Borer
HB 186, HD1, SD2, CD1. Extends the sunset date for the Coffee Berry Borer Pesticide Subsidy Program until June 30, 2021, for the purchase of pesticides containing Beauveria bassiana to combat the coffee berry borer.

Kulana and Waiawa Correctional Facility Agricultural Programs
HB480, HD1, SD1. Appropriates $50,000 for each full-time temporary agricultural management positions and equipment expenses for Kulani and Waiawa correctional facilities’ agriculture operations.

Invasive Species
HB 606, HD1, SD2, CD1. Authorizes the counties, through their employees or authorized agents, to enter private property to control or eradicate invasive species and pests.

National Flood Insurance Program
HB 1418, SD1. Amends the county exemptions from building permit and building code requirements to ensure that Hawaii’s communities are not suspended from participation in the National Flood Insurance Program.

Farmers’ Market and Food Hubs
HB 1475, HD2, SD2, CD1. Permits farmers’ markets and food hubs on lands in agricultural districts.

Dams and Reservoirs
HB 633, HD1, SD1, CD1. Clarifies that aboveground freshwater storage tanks are included in the definition of “appurtenant works” for the purpose of authorizing the issuance of special purpose revenue bonds to assist dam and reservoir owners.

National Flood Insurance Program
HB 1418, SD1. Amends the county exemptions from building permit and building code requirements to ensure that Hawaii’s communities are not suspended from participation in the National Flood Insurance Program.

Agriculture Housing
HB 2, SD1, HD2, CD1. Authorizes tiny homes of less than 500 square feet for farm workers in agricultural districts in a county with a population of more than 180,000 but less than 250,000. The County council may adopt ordinances for the oversight of tiny homes, as defined in this act.

Fire Sprinklers
SB 611, HD2, SD1, CD1. Extends the prohibition on county requirements for automatic sprinklers or sprinkler systems in one- and two-family detached dwelling units and non-residential agricultural and aquacultural structures located outside urban areas.

Carbon Farming Task Force
HB 1578, HD1, SD2, CD1. Establishes the Carbon Farming Task Force within the Office of Planning to identify agricultural and aquacultural practices to improve soil health and promote carbon sequestration in the State’s agricultural and aquacultural sectors.

Criminal Trespass
SB 895, SD1 HD2, CD1. Establishes the offense of criminal trespass onto state lands to the penal code. Amends the offense of criminal trespass in the second degree to apply to government agricultural property regardless of whether it is fenced, enclosed, or otherwise secured.

Farm to School Month – Act 10
SB 882. Designates the month of October as “Farm to School Month in Hawaii.”

Public Meetings
HB 165 HD1, SD2, CD1. Requires state and county boards to make meeting documents available to the public. Clarifies notice requirements. Accounts for electronic documents and notices.

Maui Grown Coffee, Inc.
HB 1230 HD1, SD2. Authorizes the issuance of special purpose revenue bonds to assist MauiGrown Coffee, Inc. with the operation and expansion of its farm and mill.

Cesspool Upgrades
HB 1244, HD1, SD2, CD1. Requires upgrade, conversion, or sewer connection of all cesspools in the State before 2050 unless exempted. Broadens eligibility criteria for tax credit to offset costs. Requires the Department of Health to investigate existing cesspools, assess incentive programs, and report to the Legislature.

Small Business Procurement
HB 1382 ,HD1, SD1, CD1. Assists small business in the state procurement process by establishing a temporary small business assistance initiative, small business advisory group, small business office, and small business procurement coordinator position within the State Procurement Office. Appropriates funds.

Industrial Hemp Pilot Program
SB 773, SD2, HD1, CD1. Amends the Industrial Hemp Pilot Program by restricting cultivation of industrial hemp under the pilot project to agricultural lands and requires counties to recognize it as an agricultural product, use, or activity. Allows license application year-round. Repeals certain physical facility requirements. Repeals the requirement for a movement permit to transport industrial hemp grain or plant material.

Chicken Eggs
HB 775, HD2. – Act 13 Repeals the requirement that the DOA must: (1) grant permission prior to the removal of eggs from any dock or landing; and (2) certify that eggs contained in a shipment are properly marked. Requires importation and other documents to be furnished to the DOA before imported eggs are offered for sale. Provides that a violation of section 147-75, Hawaii Revised Statutes, shall be considered an unfair and deceptive act or practice for which a person may bring an action.

Storm Water Management
HB 1509. Requires the State and counties to consider storm water management in the development of the Hawaii Water Resource Protection Plan.

 


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