Two bill of particular interest to the hunting community are House Bill 2483 and Senate Bill 2782. These bills are currently in conference committees to work out differences between the House and Senate versions. Conference committee members have been appointed. This is the last step before submitting the bills for a full House and Senate vote and possibly to the Governor for his signature.
House Bill 2483 is the single-use bag fee (we call it the bag tax) bill. Its purpose is to provide an estimated eleven million dollars a year to pay for Senate Bill 2782, the Watershed bill. The Department of Land and Natural Resources “The Rain Follows the Forest” initiative’s number one priority is to eradicate the game animals from the watersheds. On Hawaii island that means the pigs are to be eradicated. We think it is no coincidence that this plan is expected to cost eleven million dollars a year over the 10 year plan period.
Information on these two bills:
Requires businesses in the State to collect a fee for single-use checkout bags provided to a customer. Allows businesses to keep twenty per cent of the fees for the first year of the program and ten per cent of the fees thereafter, subject to income and general excises taxes. Requires fees to be collected on single-use checkout bags not prohibited by county ordinance. From 1/1/13 to 12/31/13, deposits all fees not retained by businesses into a special account in the environmental management special fund; requires first $800,000 of all fees collected to be expended by DOH for costs relating to administrative, education, audit, compliance, and enforcement activities associated with the fee; and requires any remaining fees collected to be deposited in the environmental response revolving fund and the natural area reserve fund. From 1/1/14, requires ten per cent of all fees collected to be deposited in enumerated county environmental funds and requires eighty per cent of all fees collected to be deposited in the same manner as all fees deposited by the State from 1/1/13 to 12/31/13. Requires reports to the legislature. Makes dietary supplements that contain caffeine or carbonated water subject to the requirements of the deposit beverage container program beginning 1/1/2013. Appropriates funds for administration of single-use checkout bag fee program. (SD1)
Appropriates funds to the Department of Land and Natural Resources for the immediate protection of priority watershed forests. Statutorily establishes the Division of Aquatic Resources within the Department of Land and Natural Resources. Establishes the Emergency Environmental Workforce. Appropriates funds.