State Senate Adjourns Session Approving More than 240 Bills Including Key Measures that Improve the Lives of Hawaii’s People

Lawmakers remain vigilant throughout legislative session striking a balance on measures supporting keiki, kupuna, workers and environment The Hawaii State Senate today adjourned the 2014 session passing more than 240 bills that align with its initial priorities to make Hawaii a better place for everyone now and in the future through initiatives supporting Hawaii’s keiki, kupuna, workers and the environment. “The ability to compromise and work together is essential to making good laws that help…

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Compromise Leads to Legislature’s Approval of Over 135 Measures Ahead of Sine Die

Lawmakers pass fiscally responsible state budget bill supporting keiki, measures supporting kupuna and the environment, and flagship bills raising the minimum wage and funding the Turtle Bay Conservation Easement The Hawaii State Legislature approved more than 135 on final reading ahead of the adjournment sine die this Thursday, including the state supplemental budget, measures supporting kupuna and protecting the environment, and flagship bills raising minimum wage and funding the Turtle Bay Conservation Easement. The measures…

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Senator Malama Solomon Applauds Richard Ha’s Leadership in Agriculture

Submits testimony in strong support of the Hawai‘i Island farmer’s Board of Agriculture appointment In written testimony to the chairman of the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Senator Malama Solomon (District 9 – Hilo, Hamakua, Kohala, Waimea, Waikoloa, and Kona) expressed strong support for the appointment of Richard Ha to the state Board of Agriculture. “The challenges that face the agricultural business in Hawai‘i are daunting,” Solomon said in written testimony. “This is why we need…

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Governor Signs Measures to Support Agriculture

Honolulu- Governor Neil Abercrombie today signed into law several measures relating to agriculture, helping to develop a strong foundation to enhance the State’s food and agricultural self-sufficiency.  Senator Clarence Nishihara, chair of the Senate Committee on Agriculture, released the following statements regarding the enactment of Senate Bill (SB) 993, SB 586, House Bill (HB) 1263 and HB 353. SB 993, relating to agricultural loans, expands the Department of Agriculture’s agricultural loan program by adding farm…

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Governor Signs Measure to Benefit Hawaii’s Honeybee Industry

Honolulu- Today Governor Neil Abercrombie enacted Senate Bill (SB) 482, relating to agriculture, into law. This measure helps to ensure the continued viability of honeybee stocks by encouraging beekeeping operations of all sizes throughout the State. Following the signing of SB 482 the Governor also proclaimed June 17 through 23 as “Hawaii Pollinator Week.” Hawaii’s beekeeper operations play a critical role in the vitality of our honeybees,” said Senator Clarence Nishihara, chair of the Senate…

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Senator Donovan M. Dela Cruz Introduces Senate Resolution 133

Urging the State to Purchase Land from Dole Food Company Honolulu — Senator Donovan M. Dela Cruz introduced Senate Resolution 133 which urges the State to purchase the 123 parcels of land in Central Oahu that Dole Food Co. has put up for sale.  These parcels will add approximately 22,500 acres of land to the 1,700 acres of Galbraith Estate agricultural land in Central Oahu that the State recently acquired.  The Agribusiness Development Corporation has…

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Dr. Dennis Gonsalves and Farmers Honored by State Senate

Senators honored Dr. Dennis Gonsalves with a Certificate of Recognition today for his work and research in the field of agriculture.   Dr. Gonsalves led a team of researchers that developed the first ringspot virus-resistant papaya in 1991, known as the Rainbow Papaya.  Before the Rainbow Papaya was released to growers in 1998, the ringspot virus had reduced Hawaii’s papaya production by 50 percent.  Dr. Gonsalves and the transgenic Rainbow Papaya he and his team developed…

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Bill to Promote Agricultural Tourism Activities Becomes Law

Honolulu- Senate Bill (SB) 2341, Relating to Land Use, became law yesterday without the Governor’s signature.  The measure allows agricultural tourism activities, including certain overnight accommodations of twenty-one days or less, in agricultural districts for any one stay within Maui County. The intent of the SB 2341 is to enable Maui County to make their own determinations regarding the allowance of certain activities on, or uses of, land in agricultural districts.  To assist in this…

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Governor Signs Measure to Prevent the Spread of Axis Deer

Honolulu- Today Governor Neil Abercrombie enacted Senate Bill (SB) 3001, Relating to Wildlife, into law. This measure prohibits the intentional possession and interisland transportation or release of wild or feral deer. The introduction of non-native species to the State poses a negative effect on Hawai‘i’s environment and indigenous species in a variety of ways.  Specifically, the Axis Deer has caused great damage to native habitats and agricultural crops on Maui and are a danger to…

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Governor Enacts Measures to Support Local Farms

(Photo Courtesy: Office of the Governor) Chair of the Senate Committee on Agriculture Clarence Nishihara and committee member Senator Ronald Kouchi joined Governor Neil Abercrombie today as he signed Senate Bill 2375 and Senate Bill 2646 into law. Together, these measures aim to benefit local farmers who want to sell their products and/or establish agricultural-based commercial operations. Senate Bill 2375 defines agricultural- based commercial operations and authorizes agricultural-based commercial operations in agricultural districts. Senate Bill…

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