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Agriculture / Food
Captain: Amy Brinker
Captain: Ashley Lukens
Captain: Andre Bisquera
Captain: Steve Mazur
Captain – Nikki Love
Captain: Dave Raney
Captain: Doug Fetterly
Captain: Leilei Shih
Captain: Nina Bermudez
Captain: Diana Kucmerowski
Captain: Nicole Lowen
Captain: Scott Glenn
Captain: Anthony Aalto
Captain: Robert Harris
What is Capitol Watch?
Written by Steve Mazur | Published in Energy
A few Bills have made it through the House and the Senate meaning that they just need to be reviewed by the original side (House or Senate) in a conference to approve the changes made by the second side. Then it is off to the governor’s desk for final approval and signature.
HB 2121 SD1: A public hearing is scheduled on April 3, 2012 at 3:00PM in conference room 225. HB 2121 in its current form, HD2, prohibits state and county agencies from entering into an energy agreement or contract to install a renewable energy system with a private provider who has claimed the renewable energy technologies tax credit and the systems would be paid for by selling bonds instead. The industry is opposing this because it may prevent many projects from taking place. But now, the proposed SD1, almost an entirely different Bill, removes that language and increases the system sizes allowed for net metered systems to two megawatts on County, State, or Federal land and up to one megawatt on other properties. This allows larger solar electric systems than currently allowed to export power to the utility when it produces in excess of demand, in the form of a credit, and get that energy back during times when the production is not enough to cover demand such as at night time. Please support HB 2121 HD2 SD1, and oppose the previous versions of this bill.
Going to Conference:
SB 2288, which passed on March 30, 2012 disallows investors/financiers to take the state tax credit or enter into a power purchase agreement if they install a renewable energy system on a county, state, or federal property, just like HB 2121 was originally proposing. We hope to kill this Bill. It removes a turnkey option that requires no funds and instant savings on electricity costs from day one using clean energy while attracting investors to Hawaii.
HB 2417 SD1, which passed on March 30, 2012 includes a reasonable 5% annual reduction of tax credits starting in 2013, for solar electric systems on homes. The credits will be reduced to 20% over the next three years and that can be taken as a refundable credit (similar to a rebate). Commercial systems installed after 2012 will receive a tax credit of 11.5 cents per kilowatt hour generated for the first 120 months providing an incentive to install solar in the best sun zones and maintain it for optimal production for an extended time. The industry supports this version and The Committee on Energy and Environment finds that this Bill “addresses the challenges of the current tax credit in a way that does not compromise construction activity and employment generated by the solar industry. This measure resolves issues with the administrative efficiency of the tax credit and lowers the exposure of the general fund to the credit.”
Written by Scott Glenn | Published in Smart Growth / Transport
April is the final stretch of the Legislative session. This month, the House and Senate will finish hearing each others' bills, hold conference committees to resolve differences, and finally vote to send bills over to the Governor for his signature (or veto).
This Friday, April 5, will be the Second Decking of the legislative calendar.
This is the chance for one side (e.g., the House) to consider changes made by the other (e.g., the Senate). For example, the House passed a bill, to say, exempt projects from special management area (SMA) permits. It then crossed over to the Senate, who amended it to require those projects get (SMA) permits. The House then gets to consider the Senate's amendments. Here's where we stand on the bills we've been following.
The good news is that many of the good bills are still alive, albeit with some changes.
HB 1666 - Amends penalties for negligent homicide in the second degree, negligent homicide in the third degree, and negligent injury in the second degree when the incident involves a vulnerable highway user. The Judiciary Committee passed the bill with amendments. It is now waiting for the House to take it back up.
HB 2483 - Amends the Hawaii State Planning Act to include climate change adaptation priority guidelines. The Committees on Energy and Environment/Ways and Means have scheduled a public hearing on 04-03-12 2:45PM in conference room 225.
HB 2881 - Establishes the position of Statewide Greenways and Trails Facilitator in the Office of Planning. Directs the Office of Planning to contract with a consultant to develop a plan for the establishment and implementation of a statewide greenways plan. Referred to Water, Land, and Housing and Ways and Means. Waiting to be scheduled for a hearing the former.
SB 2281 - Authorizes an agency or an applicant to bypass the preparation of an environmental assessment and proceed directly with an environmental impact statement for proposed actions that are determined to require an environmental impact statement. Bill scheduled to be heard by the Committee on Finance on Tuesday, 04-03-12 3:00PM in House conference room 308.
SB 2290 - Requires the state building code to include code provisions based on the latest edition of the International Green Construction Code and the latest edition of the International Green Construction Code Water Efficiency Provisions. Referred to Ways and Means and is waiting to be scheduled.
SB 2745 - Creates a climate change adaptation policy for the State of Hawaii by amending the Hawaii State Planning Act to include climate change adaptation priority guidelines. Requires counties to take into account a predicted sea level rise of one foot by 2050. Bill scheduled to be heard by FIN on Tuesday, 04-03-12 6:00PM in House conference room 308.
Unfortunately, many of the bad bills are still moving forward.
HB 2145 - Expresses as state policy the delineation of the key economic sectors of importance for economic diversification in Hawaii and identification of key projects within those sectors that are important to the long-term growth and success of those industries. The Committees on Economic Development and Technology/Ways and Means have scheduled a public hearing on 04-03-12 9:30AM in conference room 211.
HB 2154 - Adds a temporary exemption from the Special Management Area Use and Minor Permit requirements for airport development that is necessary to comply with Federal Aviation Administration regulations. The Committee on Water, Land, and Housing recommended that the measure be passed, with amendments.
HB 2611 - Temporarily amends Chapter 343, Hawaii Revised Statutes, to clarify current exemptions for secondary actions limited to development within existing public right-of-ways or highways. Requires that applicants prepare environmental assessments when required. Referred to the Committee on Energy and Environment, but has yet to be scheduled.
SB 2927 - Establishes planning districts and creates a process for developers to apply for residential and commercial exceptional planning projects. Establishes the transit-oriented or main-street redevelopment program. Authorizes state and county incentives for exceptional planning projects. Establishes a discretionary review process for the transfer of floor area within the planning district. Bill scheduled to be heard by the Committee on Finance on Tuesday, 04-03-12 2:00PM in House conference room 308.
SB 3003 - Differentiates between "geothermal resources exploration" and "geothermal resources development". Designates "geothermal resources exploration" and "geothermal resources development" as permissible uses in all state land use districts and conservation district zones. Repeals geothermal resource subzone provisions under state land use law. Bill scheduled to be heard by the Committee on Finance on Tuesday, 04-03-12 3:00PM in House conference room 308.
SB 3010 - Temporarily exempts DOT and its contractors from certain state requirements for certain bridge rehabilitation projects. Bill scheduled to be heard by FIN on Monday, 04-02-12 5:00PM in House conference room 308.
Only one of the Good bills didn't make through, but thankfully four of the really Bad bills from the House didn't make it either. (And there was much rejoicing. Yay!)
SB 3040 - Exempts from the rental motor vehicle surcharge tax, vehicles that are rented by a car-sharing organization to members of its membership program on an hourly basis for up to six hours per day per vehicle. Unfortunately, the House Committee on Transportation recommended that the measure be deferred.
HB 1813 - Exempts any state or county CIP from special management area guidelines and requirements. The Committee on Finance recommended that the measure be deferred.
HB 1893 - Temporarily allows exemptions from the environmental review process under chapter 343, HRS, for certain narrowly defined state or county construction projects. The Committee on Finance recommended that the measure be deferred.
HB 2384 - Requires the land use commission, upon request, to extend the time period for which a boundary amendment is effective for at least 2 years if the appropriate county officer or agency determines that the petitioner has substantially commenced development or if other good cause exists. The Committee on Finance recommended that the measure be deferred.
HB 2419 - Allows counties to seek declaratory ruling from the land use commission for reclassification of lands under a county general plan or county development plan. Specifies that changes to the general plan take effect immediately upon approval of the reclassification by the land use commission. The Committee on Finance recommended that the measure be deferred.
Written by Anthony Aalto | Published in Agriculture
OK guys, I’m so sorry to do this, but here we go again.
They are still trying to kill our bill that would require the state to double food production by 2020 and it needs your help once more.
It has passed every other committee except Ways and Means. But the Chair of WAM, David Ige has not scheduled a hearing. And if it is not heard this week it will die.
Written by Andre Bisquera | Published in Energy
SB2787, the Hawaii Electricity Reliability Act (HERA), would help us realize the full potential of renewable power on the grid by authorizing the PUC to develop, adopt, and enforce reliability standards and interconnection requirements. It continues to move along and will be heard this Tuesday, April 3, at 6 PM in Conference Room 308. A separate entity within the PUC would oversee grid interconnection and reliability, and give oversight of the state’s grids. This new agency would address issues such as the 15% of peak demand limit of distributed energy connected to the grid. Help Hawaii get more renewables on the grid and show your support by writing testimony here.
Another bill looking to help Hawaii reach its Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS) goals and reduce our dependence on oil is SB2981. It is being heard Tuesday, April 3, at 3pm in Conference Room 308. This bill would develop a framework to replace oil-based power generation facilities and help the integration of renewable energy. It would also make the PUC examine its avoided cost calculation methodology, ways to maximize the use of distributed generation including interconnection penetration levels, and options to modernize the electrical grid. This bill has wide support from Blue Planet Foundation, the Hawaii Renewable Energy Alliance, and the PUC. Please show your support by submitting testimony here.
Written by Nikki Love | Published in Good Governance
Great news! HB2174 - transparency for campaign spending - has been scheduled for a hearing. Thank you for contacting the Senate JDL Committee and making it happen! The hearing is this Monday 4/2 at 10AM in State Capitol Room 016. Please submit your testimony in support!
HB2174 HD1 is a big step to improve transparency after Citizens United v. FEC and other court decisions. The bill would create a searchable database of Hawaii campaign data, improve reporting by PACs and SuperPACs, require reporting of late expenditures, and require disclosure of donors for campaign advertisements. This bill provides a critical update to Hawaii's campaign finance laws and helps voters find out who is spending big money to influence our elections.