Important ag/local food bills move ahead

Mar 29, 2022

The 2022 State legislative session continues, with Second Crossover just two weeks away. That's the deadline for bills to “crossover” back to their originating house, if amended, before entering Conference, during which legislators from both houses work to reach agreement on measures before final consideration for passage.

The following is a snapshot of several agricultural and food-related bills that still have potential to move forward:

HB1499 HD 1 and SB2960 SD1 similarly require the Hawaii Department of Agriculture (HDOA) to work as a partner in the establishment of a food safety certification training program to help small- and medium-sized farms comply with federal food safety certification mandates

SB2992 SD1 HD1 establishes the Hawaii agricultural investment program to support local agricultural producers.

HB1745 HD1 SD1 appropriates funds to help Hawaii’s food banks meet the significantly heightened need for food assistance during the COVID-19 pandemic.

HB2062 HD1 establishes the agricultural emergency loan revolving fund, to be administered by HDOA, to fund class D emergency loans. The measure also provides a separate source of funding for emergency agricultural loans.

HB1658 HD1 SD1 exempts easements granted over public lands affecting the transfer of undeveloped public lands between the Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR) and HDOA, pursuant to Act 90, from formal county subdivision process and approval requirements. Before the transfer of non-agricultural park lands, the measure authorizes the HDOA to request information from DLNR related to the establishment of necessary and reasonable easements upon the lands. It also requires HDOA to accept the transfer of and manage certain encumbered non-conservation, non-agricultural park lands, including pasture leases; requires the HDOA, prior to offering a lease, to inquire with DLNR regarding any easements required for access to landlocked forest reserves or other assets on the lands subject to the lease; requires the lessee to develop a conservation program and plan if conservation resources exist on the land; and requires approval from the Board of Land and Natural Resources and the Board of Agriculture before removing pasture lands for reforestation, or other public purposes.  

HB1721 HD1 SD1 requires the DLNR and HDOA to collaborate on feral animal management.

To offer testimony in support of these bills, visit the Hawaii State Legislature’s website. Please note that an account is required in order to submit online testimony. If you have not created an account, please click here to register, after which you will be able to create measure tracking lists, submit testimony online, and receive hearing notices by e-mail.