Hawaii Senate Committee Advances Bills Protecting the Environment

The Hawaii State Senate’s Committee on Ways and Means (WAM) today advanced legislation to protect and preserve the state’s natural resources. The committee passed bills that, if made law, would have immediate and far-reaching effects on beach shorelines, invasive species control, conservation, sustainability, climate change and disaster planning efforts.

Some members of the Senate Ways and Means Committee at Pohoiki on the Big Island.

Some members of the Senate Ways and Means Committee at Pohoiki on the Big Island.

“We must continually work together to maintain our unique island home for the health and pleasure of our families and, also, the stability of our economy through the visitor industry,” said Sen. David Ige, WAM Committee chairman. “These bills passed today touch on many facets of the environment both with immediate actions and long-term planning, and will require more meetings and consensus for success.”

The environment protection measures passed today include:

SB2742 – Establishes the Pacific-Asia Institute for Resilience and Sustainability to provide the structure and opportunity for a new generation of leaders to emerge who possess the ability to address Hawaii and the Pacific-Asia region’s risks from natural and man-made hazards and to develop solutions for sustainable economic growth within the region’s unique physical and cultural diversity.

SB3035 – Authorizes the issuance of general obligation bonds and appropriates funds for planning for and construction for the realignment of Kamehameha Highway mauka of Laniakea beach on the North Shore of Oahu.

SB3036 – Appropriates funds to the University of Hawaii Sea Grant College Program to create a North Shore beach management plan for the North Shore of Oahu stretching from Sunset beach to Waimea Bay.

The Senate WAM Committee last week advanced two joint majority package bills that support efforts to address invasive species and climate change. The measures are:

SB2343 – Appropriates funds to the Hawaii Invasive Species Council for invasive species prevention, control, outreach, research, and planning.

SB2344 - Addresses climate change adaptation by establishing the interagency sea level rise vulnerability and adaptation committee under the Department of Land and Natural Resources to create a sea level rise vulnerability and adaptation report that addresses sea level rise impacts statewide to 2050. Tasks the Office of Planning with establishing and implementing strategic climate adaptation plans and policy recommendations using the sea level rise vulnerability and adaptation report as a framework for addressing other statewide climate impacts identified under Act 286, Session Laws of Hawaii 2012. Appropriates funds for staffing and resources.

One Response

  1. Whoo hoo … whuppity dooo!

    OK. I’m over it. My sarcasm, but let me explain and, maybe, you’ll forgive me for be so skeptical.

    We’ve had thousands—literally—of “bills” passed since beginning way back in the 70s, when I was a kid. And, believe it or not, a good number of those bills were good legislation that *should* have made a real, continuing and lasting difference in the quality of our environment and living.

    Locally. Globally.

    That’s the good news. The bad news, really, is that no *quantity* of legislation [spelled: statutes/rules/regulations/policies] is going to be any better than the over all *quality* of its enforcment.

    Almost always, now, over *forty* years after the original Earth Day, what usually happens is, somebody (well-intentioned) comes a long as says, “we’re going to ‘protect’ the environment …[yada yada]”

    … and the first thing I think is, “yeah, right, what they *really* mean is that they are going to make all the ‘protecting’ (that is already supposed to be going on) even *more* complicated and *more* difficult to practice.”

    And enforce.

    Oh, and, one more thing: it’s going to be even *more* expensive [hint: spelled T-A-X-E-S and F-E-E-S].

    Surprise!

    And, you guessed it, after we’ve had FIFTY years to figure it out—this protecting thing—*somebody* is going to come along and sponsor a bill, just wait! And they are going come around telling us (one more time) “it’s to, you know, protect the environment.”

    They won’t need to wink. Ha, no, not then; we already know what’s going on.

    Now.

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