117
HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES             H.C.R. NO.            
TWENTIETH LEGISLATURE, 2000                                
STATE OF HAWAII                                            
                                                             
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                     HOUSE  CONCURRENT
                        RESOLUTION
  REQUESTING THE LEGISLATIVE REFERENCE BUREAU TO REVIEW THE
    STATUTORY FRAMEWORK RELATING TO THE LEASING OF STATE
    LANDS.



 1        WHEREAS, the State leases approximately one hundred sixty-
 2   five thousand acres of public lands for agricultural,
 3   residential, pasture, and other purposes, generating several
 4   million dollars of revenue each year; and
 5   
 6        WHEREAS, the Board of Land and Natural Resources
 7   administers the leasing program according to chapter 171,
 8   Hawaii Revised Statutes, which specifies that leases shall be
 9   available to the public through auction; and
10   
11        WHEREAS, the primary criterion of price, which is intended
12   to maximize the State's revenue, does not recognize and credit
13   the improvements made by prior lessees for their caretaking of
14   the land, such as preventing erosion, conserving the soil,
15   increasing soil productivity, preserving species, and
16   demonstrating the viability of less intensive and less invasive
17   uses; and
18   
19        WHEREAS, within the next ten years, thirty per cent of the
20   State's agricultural leases will expire, increasing the dilemma
21   of satisfying the needs of farmers wishing to renew leases on
22   public lands which family members have toiled for decades, as
23   well as those of new applicants with greater financial
24   resources; and
25   
26        WHEREAS, the competitive displacement of one farmer by
27   another creates an undesirable situation which can be avoided
28   by availing such lands when needed; and
29   
30        WHEREAS, similar problems exist with other leases such as
31   at Kokee State Park, where current long-time residential
32   lessees have not and will not be able to compete against
33   interested parties from distant shores; and

 
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                                  H.C.R. NO.            
                                                        
                                                        

 1   
 2        WHEREAS, existing lessees expending significant resources
 3   to render improvements to the land must bid on the current
 4   value of these improvements, and in effect must re-purchase
 5   these investments, unlike new bidders; and
 6   
 7        WHEREAS, existing lessees are often faced with the
 8   difficult choice of effecting improvements during the final ten
 9   to fifteen years of their leases to maximize land use or crop
10   yield, but face the possibility of not obtaining a return on
11   their investment and losing it all on bid renewal; and
12   
13        WHEREAS, while revenue generation and the ease of
14   administration through a simple bid process are important
15   factors, other alternatives and fairer long-term perspectives
16   should be considered, particularly for the smaller parcels;
17   now, therefore,
18   
19        BE IT RESOLVED by the House of Representatives of the
20   Twentieth Legislature of the State of Hawaii, Regular Session
21   of 2000, the Senate concurring, that the Legislative Reference
22   Bureau is requested to review the statutory framework relating
23   to the leasing of state lands; and
24   
25        BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Bureau is requested to
26   include in its report:
27   
28        (1)  A review of the existing statutory basis for leasing
29             state lands;
30   
31        (2)  A review of laws and policies in other representative
32             jurisdictions relating to the leasing of state lands;
33   
34        (3)  Proposed modifications of state leasing laws,
35             including how such modifications would affect
36             existing and future leases;
37   
38        (4)  A review of alternative public policy approaches in
39             the leasing of state lands, including:
40   
41             (A)  An approach that recognizes prior stewardship
42                  and caretaking of those lands by existing
43                  lessees; and
44   
45             (B)  An approach that credits the current value of
46                  improvements made by lessees and that encourages
47                  existing lessees to make significant investments
48                  on their leased lands; and
49   

 
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                                  H.C.R. NO.            
                                                        
                                                        

 1        (5)  Proposed legislation that implements different policy
 2             approaches which will alleviate some of the concerns
 3             expressed in this Concurrent Resolution;
 4   
 5   and
 6   
 7        BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Department of Land and
 8   Natural Resources and the Department of Agriculture are
 9   requested to assess the availability and demand for additional
10   agricultural lots, both public, and private, for general and
11   specialty crops and industries including taro and koa
12   foresting; and
13   
14        BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Department of Land and
15   Natural Resources is requested to cooperate with the
16   Legislative Reference Bureau by providing any assistance and
17   data as may be necessary in the conduct of the study; and
18   
19        BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Legislative Reference
20   Bureau is requested to submit its findings and recommendations
21   to the Legislature twenty days prior to the convening of the
22   2001 Regular Session; and
23   
24        BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that certified copies of this
25   Concurrent Resolution be transmitted to the Acting Director of
26   the Legislative Reference Bureau, the Chairperson of the Board
27   of Land and Natural Resources, and the Chairperson of the Board
28   of Agriculture.
29   
30 
31 
32 
33                         OFFERED BY:  ____________________________