Hawai‘i Food Coalition endorse bills

LIHU‘E — Hawai‘i Legislators are stepping into full stride at the State Capitol and, through the next couple of months hundreds of bill will be heard on the Senate and House of Representatives floors.

Bills are currently being forwarded that address tourism and climate change, environment, human health and agriculture.

Monday, the Hawai‘i Local Food Coalition endorsed 10 bills they dubbed “pro-agriculture”.

Executive director of the Hawai‘i Farm Bureau and member of the LFC, Brian Miyamoto said the coalition carefully considered which bills to best support in relation to local food production.

“It’s not always easy to build consensus across a diverse industry, but we all agreed on the importance of getting these bills into the end zone. A big mahalo to the faithful agriculture champions in the Legislature for giving these measures a close look,” Miyamoto said.

The bills endorsed by the LFC include:

• HB1936, RELATING TO AGRICULTURE EDUCATION

Establishes a P-20 agriculture education coordinator position within the University of Hawai‘i College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources. Establishes a two-year farm-to-school grant pilot program within the State of Hawai‘i Department of Agriculture (DOA) to sunset on June 30, 2022. Appropriates funds for the farm-to-school grant pilot program and the P-20 agriculture education coordinator position.

• HB2215, RELATING TO WORKFORCE DEVELOPMENT

Establishes the Workforce Development Coordinator position within the Department Of Agriculture (DOA). Specifies duties of the Coordinator and P-20 Agriculture Education Working Group. Appropriates funds.

• SB3041, RELATING TO AGRICULTURE

Extends the deadline for submitting the strategic plan required by Act 151, Session Laws of Hawai‘i 2019. Extends the lapse date for funds appropriated by the Act to June 30, 2021.

• HB2532 / SB3042, RELATING TO INVASIVE SPECIES

Appropriates funds to the DOA toward its efforts to mitigate and control two-lined spittlebug infestations in Hawai‘i.

• HB2190 / SB2708, RELATING TO AGRICULTURAL ENTERPRISES

Authorizes the DOA to plan, design, construct, operate, manage, maintain, repair, demolish and remove infrastructure on any lands under the jurisdiction of the department, to support and promote agriculture. Establishes the agricultural enterprise program. Establishes the Agricultural Enterprise Special Fund. Appropriates funds. Effective July 1, 2020.

• HB2274 / SB2830, RELATING TO AGRICULTURAL ENTERPRISES

Establishes a new agricultural enterprise program within the DOA to plan, design, construct, operate, manage, maintain, repair, demolish and remove infrastructure on any lands under the jurisdiction of the department, to support and promote agriculture. Creates three new positions to implement the program. Establishes the Agricultural Enterprise Special Fund. Appropriates funds. Effective July 1, 2020.

• HB2035 / SB2415, RELATING TO NON-AGRICULTURAL PARK LANDS

Requires the Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR) to transfer to the DOA specified non-agricultural park lands by a specified deadline. Requires the DLNR and DOA to jointly report on the status of the land transfer. Amends the definition of “agricultural activities” used in chapter 166E, Hawai‘i Revised Statutes.

• HB2444 / SB2702, RELATING TO AGRICULTURE

Temporarily authorizes the Board of Agriculture to decide on a case-by-case basis which entities qualify for a non-agricultural park lease. Establishes conditions and qualifications for a lease. Sunsets June 30, 2025.

• HB2577 / SB2812, RELATING TO AGRICULTURAL LANDS

Clarifies that agriculture activities in non-agricultural park lands may include the care and production of pasture lands. Requires the transfer of certain lands from the DLNR to the DOA. Requires reports to the Legislature on compliance with the land transfers. Appropriates funds.

• SB2735, RELATING TO AGRICULTURAL LANDS

Clarifies that agriculture activities in non-agricultural park lands may include the care and production of pasture lands. Sets various deadlines for the transfer of certain non-agricultural park lands from the DLNR to the DOA. Requires reports to the Legislature on compliance with the land transfers. Appropriates funds.

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