Second Lateral Bill Updates

Below is an update of our bill priorities as of second lateral, when bills must move to their final committee in their non-originating chamber.

Carbon Free Hawaiʻi

  • Carbon Pricing

    • HB 1584 – [Support] Office of Planning to conduct a comprehensive study of a statewide carbon tax. WAM.

  • Clean Energy

    • HB 307 – [Oppose] Broadens the definition of "renewable energy" to include other self-replenishing non-fossil fuel resources. EET/CPH.

    • HB 550 – [Support] Amends the definition of "renewable portfolio standard" to more accurately reflect the percentage of renewable energy use in the State. CPH/WAM.

    • HB 556 – [Support] Establishes minimum appliance efficiency standards for certain products sold or installed in the State. Requires the public benefits fee administrator to educate and train appliance manufacturers, distributors, and retailers about the appliance efficiency standards. CPH.

Planning for Rising Seas

  • Strengthening Coastal Zone Management Laws

    • HB 549 – [Support] Requires new developments to plan for the impacts of projected sea level rise and prohibits development in areas significantly affected by projected sea level rise. Amends policies and objectives related to coastal zone management to reduce residential exposure to coastal hazards and protect state beaches and public shoreline access. Defines "beach" and "coastal hazards". JDC/WAM.

  • Sea Level Rise planning

    • HB 461 – [Support] Requires the Hawaii Climate Change Mitigation and Adaptation Commission to conduct certain activities to address the impacts of sea level rise and report to the Legislature before the 2021 Regular Session. Appropriates funds for the Commission's activities and to fund the Climate Change Mitigation and Adaptation Coordinator. WAM.

    • HB 765 – [Support] Requires incorporation of sea level rise projections in all new plans and updates to existing state plans generated under the Hawaii State Planning Act. WAM.

    • HB 1487 – [Support] Establishes the Honolulu shoreline climate protection pilot project to develop a plan to protect urban Honolulu from the impacts of sea level rise, floodwater, storms, and other impacts of a rapidly changing climate. Repeals on 6/30/2022. Appropriates funds. WAM.

Protecting Freshwater and Marine Ecosystems

    • HB 1326 – [Oppose] Allows holdover permits for stream diversions to continue until 2026. WTL/WAM.

    • HB 808 – [Support] Establishes an offense of knowingly capturing, taking, possessing, abusing, entangling, or killing a shark in state marine waters, along with penalties and fines. Expands the existing prohibition on knowingly capturing or killing a manta ray in state marine waters to apply to all rays and to also include knowingly taking, possessing, abusing, or entangling a ray. Provides certain exemptions. Effective 7/1/2050. JDC/WAM.

    • HB 551 – [Support] Extends lapse date for funds appropriated to the University of Hawaii to conduct a comprehensive statewide study of sewage contamination in nearshore marine areas. Extends lapse date for funds appropriated to the Department of Health to conduct research or gather technical assistance relating to the cesspool conversion working group's comprehensive cesspool conversion plan. WAM.

    • SCR 35 – [Support] Urging the U.S. EPA and the Hawaii Department of Health to reject the approval of a single wall tank upgrade alternative option for the Red Hill Bulk Fuel Storage Facility and the conclusions presented in the Groundwater Protection and Evaluations Considerations Report dated July 27, 2018.

    • SB 696 – [Support] Extends various reporting deadlines and the sunset date of the cesspool conversion working group established pursuant to Act 132, Session Laws of Hawaii 2018. Extends the lapse dates for funds appropriated to conduct a comprehensive statewide study of sewage contamination in nearshore marine areas and for research and technical assistance necessary for completion of the comprehensive cesspool conversion plan. FIN.

Land Use and Development

    • HB 593 – [Oppose] Authorizes the development of utility scale solar projects on class A agricultural lands, subject to certain requirements. Repeals 6/30/2025. WAM.

    • HB 1403 - [Oppose] Requires approval of a permit application submitted by a housing development project that uses moneys from the rental housing revolving fund if a county does not issue a decision on the application within sixty days, subject to certain requirements. Exempts the foregoing projects from environmental impact statement requirements until an update to administrative rules regarding exemptions to environmental impact statement requirements takes effect. WAM.

Administrative

  • HB 1171 – [Support]. WAM. DLNR-DOFAW operating budget bill that would provide $5M to programs including:

    • Hawaiʻi Invasive Species Council (HISC) prevention, early detection-rapid response, control, and outreach projects;

    • Rapid ʻŌhiʻa Death (ROD) research and response; and

    • Wildfire response.

  • HCR 55 - [Support] Requesting the Governor to convene a working group to make recommendations on the consolidation of state environmental functions and the establishment of a Department of the Environment. FIN.

Waste Reduction

  • Plastics

    • HB 762 – [Support] Prohibits providing straws unless requested. JDC.

    • SCR 31 – [Support] Designating the Hawaii State Capitol building and its grounds as a single-use plastic free zone. WAM.

    • SB 522 – [Support] Single-use Plastics Working Group. FIN.

  • Recycling

    • SB 893 – [Support] Prohibits counties with a population less than 500,000 from rejecting number 1 and 2 plastic bottles presented for recycling solely because the bottles are accompanied by or adjoined to nonrecyclable bottle caps. Requires and appropriates funds for the counties to separate and appropriately dispose of such nonrecyclable bottle caps. Requires the counties to include a feasibility assessment of recycling PP materials. FIN.

Common Good Coalition

  • Automatic Voter Registration

    • HB 1217 – [Support] Automatic Voter Registration for driver's license and identification card applications. JDC.

    • HB 1485 – [Support] Establishes a process for automatically preregistering or registering public school-enrolled students who are at least 16 years old.

    • SB 412 – [Support] Automatic Voter Registration for driver's license and identification card applications. FIN.

  • Taxation of Real Estate Investment Trusts

  • Social Services

    • SB 390 – [Support] Department of Agriculture to create a dollar-for-dollar match program for beneficiaries of the federal Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program who purchase Hawaii-grown produce. FIN.

OPPOSE HB1326 HD2: Free our streams from corporate water theft

ACT NOW TO #FREETHESTREAMS! HB 1326 HD2 IS VOTED ON IN THE HOUSE FINANCE COMMITTEE ON WEDNESDAY, 2/27 at 11:30AM.

The last committee changed the “unlimited” timeline to 7 years—but that is not enough. The corporate water diverters have already received an extra 3 year extension in 2016 to finish environmental impact statements that were required 15 years ago and completing the long term lease application.


CALL NOW Representative Luke and the members of the Finance Committee and ask them to vote NO on HB1326.

HB1326 was heard in the Finance committee last week. Call and email the committee and ask them to VOTE NO on HB1326. 

Email: FINtestimony@capitol.hawaii.gov

Chair: Luke, Sylvia 
808-586-6200
repluke@capitol.hawaii.gov

Vice Chair: Cullen, Ty J.K. 
808-586-8490
repcullen@capitol.hawaii.gov

Committee members:
Kitagawa, Lisa (voted with reservations)
808-586-8540
repkitagawa@capitol.hawaii.gov

Holt, Daniel 
808-586-6180
repholt@capitol.hawaii.gov

Todd, Chris 
808-586-8480
reptodd@capitol.hawaii.gov

Hashimoto, Troy N. 
808-586-9444
rephashimoto@capitol.hawaii.gov

Yamashita, Kyle T. 
808-586-6330
repyamashita@capitol.hawaii.gov

Nakamura, Nadine K. 
808-586-8435
repnakamura@capitol.hawaii.gov


Kobayashi, Bertrand 
808-586-6310
repkobayashi@capitol.hawaii.gov

Nishimoto, Scott Y. 
808-586-8515
repnishimoto@capitol.hawaii.gov

McDermott, Bob 
808-586-9730
repmcdermott@capitol.hawaii.gov

Gates, Cedric Asuega 
808-586-8460
repgates@capitol.hawaii.gov

Matayoshi , Scot Z. 
808-586-8470 repmatayoshi@capitol.hawaii.gov


HB1326 gives water diverters—like A&B (now Mahi Pono) and KIUC—an UNLIMITED amount of water, for an INDEFINITE amount of time, for UNKNOWN uses. This bill provides no standards or criteria for ensuring that stream ecosystems are protected from excessive water diversions.

A&B is asking lawmakers to pass HB1326—because they promised in its sale agreement with Mahi Pono that the state would give them 30 million gallons of water a day—or else A&B will have to pay Mahi Pono $62 million. But it will impact more than just East Maui. This bill would also extend temporary water permits held by others, like Kauaʻi Island Utility Cooperative for diverting sacred waters of Waiʻaleʻale and Waikoko.

Lawmakers are often quick to criticize DLNR for mismanagement but then turnaround and support bills like this that ensure the mismanagement could only get worse. There is no criteria or oversight written into this bill that protects streams, its native ecosystems, or the communities that depend on them for basic necessities.

There are bills in front of the legislature that set a good example of how things should be done. Bills like HB848—that provide for the protection of stream resources, while allowing stream diversions for diversified agriculture so long as it does not harm the health of the streams. However, HB848 has yet to get scheduled for a hearing.

There is enough water for everyone to prosper, it is just a matter of striking the right balance. HB1326 is basically a blank check to Mahi Pono, A&B, KIUC and others to continue the unjust practice of taking unlimited amounts of water from Hawaiʻi’s streams—to the detriment of our native ecosystems and the people that depend on them. E ola i kai wai!! Water is life!!


HB1326 WAS HEARD AND PASSED OUT OF WLH WITH A 5-TO-1 VOTE ON FEB 8.

Mahalo nui to EVERYONE who submitted testimony in opposition to this terrible bill. There were over 600 testimonies submitted, most in opposition, with over a dozen verbal testimonies provided at the hearing. The bill was amended from providing diverters the ability to take water for an indefinite about of time to seven years, including authorization to continue diverting while permits are challenged in court.

Voting for the bill were: Committee Chairperson Ryan Yamane from Mililani, Vice Chair Chris Todd, and members Rep. Nicole Lowen, and Rep. David Tarnas, all from the Big Island, and Rep. Sharon Har, representing Kapolei. Rep. Thielen from Kailua/Kaneohe was absent and excused. Rep. Tina Wildberger from Maui was the sole no vote.

HB 1326- Stream Diversion Bill, Passes House Committee

Advocates stand with Rep. Tina Wildberger, South Maui District 11 Representative, after the hearing for hb 1326. Rep. Wildberger was the only Committee member to vote “no” on allowing unrestricted stream diversions to continue for another seven years.

Advocates stand with Rep. Tina Wildberger, South Maui District 11 Representative, after the hearing for hb 1326. Rep. Wildberger was the only Committee member to vote “no” on allowing unrestricted stream diversions to continue for another seven years.

HONOLULU, HAWAIʻI (February 11, 2019) -- Friday, the House Committee on Water, Land, and Hawaiian Affairs voted 5-to-1 in support of HB1326, which seeks to expand the temporary water diversion permits that were the source of immense controversy in 2016.

“Yep, here we go again,” said Marti Townsend. “Just as like HB2501 three years ago, this bill today favors wealthy corporations profiting at the expense of the people of Hawaiʻi by taking more than their fair share of water with no oversight and no accountability. There has been no substantive change in the three years since the last extension was passed.”

More than 600 people submitted written testimony, most in opposition, and more than a dozen people testified in person against the bill.  Many of these testifiers were from Kauaʻi and Maui, and suffer direct harm from the excessive diversion of streams in their communities.

“The level of injustice here is just outrageous,” said Nani Rogers, an elder Hawaiian activist from Kauaʻi.  “These diversions have been breaking the law -- and hurting our people, our neighbors -- for decades. We cannot build trust with each other and solve the problems we are facing, when we start with a hewa like this bill.”

Also testifying in opposition were the Environmental Caucus of the Democratic Party, Council for Native Hawaiian Advancement, Office of Hawaiian Affairs, Earthjustice, Native Hawaiian Legal Corporation, Hawaiʻi Alliance for Progressive Action, Sierra Club, KAHEA: The Hawaiian-Environmental Alliance, and Young Progressives Demanding Action.

HB1326 proposed to give diverters unlimited, unconditional permission to divert stream water indefinitely.  It was amended to reduce the time frame for unlimited diversions to 7 years, including authorization to continue diverting while permits are challenged in court.

Voting for the bill were: Committee Chairperson Ryan Yamane from Mililani, Vice Chair Chris Todd, and members Rep. Nicole Lowen, and Rep. David Tarnas, all from the Big Island, and Rep. Sharon Har, representing Kapolei. Rep. Thielen from Kailua/Kaneohe was absent and excused. Rep. Tina Wildberger from Maui was the sole no vote.

Testifying in support of the excessive stream diversions were major corporations and their supporters such as Mahi Pono (the new owner of A&B land in Central Maui), Grove Farms, the Hawaiʻi Crop Improvement Association, Land Use Research Foundation, Hawaiʻi Agriculture Research Corporation, and several chambers of commerce. There were no constituents at the hearing from the Big Island.

Former Lt. Governor-turned lobbyist, Shan Tsutsui testified on behalf of Mahi Pono in support of the bill.  When asked if Mahi Pono could support limitations on future stream diversions, Tsutsui did not commit. He only promised to read other bills, like HB848, that seek to share stream water more fairly.

Kauaʻi Island Utility Co-op and Grove Farms did not testify in person at the hearing.  KIUC diverts nearly all of Waiʻaleʻale stream for hydropower plants that produce 1% of the energy used on Kauaʻi before sending it to Grove Farms, who sells the water back to the county.  They have been diverting water on month-to-month permits for 15 years. No Environmental Impact Statement has been completed.

Several small farmers and ranchers also submitted testimony in support of the bill out of fear that current diversified agricultural efforts might be harmed by reduced stream diversions.

“It feels like the small farmers and ranchers that rely on relatively small amounts of water, often not sourced from streams, are being used as a cover for these large stream diverters that have been breaking the law for a very long time and are really damaging public streams and the communities that rely on them,” said Anne Frederick, Executive Director of the Hawaiʻi Alliance for Progressive Action.  “No one is against local food production and clean energy, we just want the streams to be protected and the water more fairly shared.”


Contact House Water, Land, and Hawaiian Affairs Committee members:

Chair Ryan Yamane: 808-586-6150, repyamane@capitol.hawaii.gov

Vice Chair Chris Todd: 808-586-8480, reptodd@capitol.hawaii.gov

Rep. Sharon Har: 808-586-8500, rephar@capitol.hawaii.gov

Rep. Nicole Lowen: 808-586-8400, replowen@capitol.hawaii.gov

Rep. David Tarnas: 808-586-8510, reptarnas@capitol.hawaii.gov

Rep. Tina Wildberger: 808-586-8525, repwildberger@capitol.hawaii.gov

Rep. Cynthia Thielen: 808-586-6480, repthielen@capitol.hawaii.gov

Link to HB1326 testimony

Link to additional information on WaiForAll.com