Well, it's crunch time at the Capitol as we head toward the conclusion of the 2014 Legislative Session on May 1st. This last part of the session is called Conference Committee and is when we sit down to work out the differences in the House and Senate versions of hundreds of bills. Two bills that I introduced have already passed the Legislature and have now been sent to the Governor for his consideration:
SB 2175 would authorize the Dean of the UH College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources to establish a two year hemp remediation and biofuel research project. This starts us on the path of growing our own hemp, an incredible crop that is used in over 27,000 products. ( I highly recommend a short documentary called, Bringing it Home, if you're interested in finding out more about the potential of this amazing plant.)
SB 2658 would allow solar projects to be located on parcels of Class B & C lands of greater than 20 acres as long as a special use permit is obtained through the Land Use Commission. A provision in the bill requires the solar developers to lease additional lands to farmers at 50% lower than the market rate to make it easier for agriculture to thrive.
The Governor has until June 23rd to decide whether to sign, veto, or allow these bills to become law without his signature. As always, best wishes to you and your family.
Please contact me at 586-6830 or firstname.lastname@example.org if I can help you or your family in any way.
Me ke aloha pumehana,
Mike Gabbard, State Senator,
District 20 Chair, Energy/Environment Committee
Senator Gabbard Speaking on Industrial Hemp Legislation - March 13, 2014