HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

H.B. NO.

760

TWENTY-SEVENTH LEGISLATURE, 2013

H.D. 1

STATE OF HAWAII

 

 

 

 

 

 

A BILL FOR AN ACT

 

 

RELATING TO THE ENVIRONMENT.

 

 

BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF HAWAII:

 


SECTION 1. Recognizing that Hawaii's natural resources are valuable to our culture, quality of life, and tourism-based economy, the 1970 legislature created the natural area reserve system under the control of the department of land and natural resources to preserve and protect numerous native ecosystems.

The legislature finds that both the department of land and natural resources and the natural area reserve system lack the necessary funding to properly carry out their critical role as guardians of the environment. This lack of funding puts Hawaii's environment at risk and, therefore, seriously threatens an important foundation of Hawaii's tourism industry.

Act 156, Session Laws of Hawaii 2005, established the legacy lands program, to preserve, protect, and enhance the State's land, coastal areas, and natural resources, and to provide a permanent adequate funding source for that purpose. The legislature also finds while the program has been successful, its own funding has dwindled for preservation of certain essential ecosystems and threatened habitats.

The legislature further finds that other states have successfully used voluntary contribution check-off boxes to raise money for the protection of their natural resources. A similar program in Hawaii will raise funds for the State's own environmental management and will engage visitors for this purpose.

The purpose of this Act is to provide the opportunity for persons renting cars in Hawaii to make a voluntary contribution toward the protection of the State's unique environment, which is a critical component of our tourism-based economy.

SECTION 2. Chapter 437D, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is amended by adding a new section to be appropriately designated and to read as follows:

"437D-   Optional environmental impact contribution.

(a) Every lessor who is required to register with the director under section 251-3 shall include an option in each rental agreement for the lessee to make a voluntary contribution to the department of land and natural resources to preserve and protect the environment. The option shall be printed in the rental agreement and the language of the option shall clearly state that the option is voluntary and does not affect the rental agreement. The department of land and natural resources shall approve the option language.

(b) The lessor shall collect and keep all records of all contributions collected pursuant to this section and shall provide receipts to all lessees who elect to contribute.

(c) Contributions collected pursuant to this section shall be remitted to the department of land and natural resources, which shall deposit the contributions at the end of every fiscal year as follows:

(1) Fifty per cent into the natural area reserve fund established under section 195-9; and

(2) Fifty per cent into the land conservation fund established under section 173A-5."

SECTION 3. Section 173A-5, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is amended by amending subsection (d) to read as follows:

"(d) The appropriate percentage identified under section 247-7 of all taxes imposed and collected under chapter 247 and contributions collected through rental agreements under section 437D-   shall be deposited in or credited to the fund every fiscal year."

SECTION 4. Section 195-9, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is amended by amending subsection (b) to read as follows:

"(b) The fund shall consist of moneys received from any public or private [sources.] sources, including contributions collected through rental agreements under section 437D-   . The fund shall be held separate and apart from all other moneys, funds, and accounts in the state treasury, except that any moneys received from the federal government or from private contributions shall be deposited and accounted for in accordance with conditions established by the agencies or persons from whom the moneys are received. Investment earnings credited to the assets of the fund shall become a part of the assets of the fund. Any balance remaining in the fund at the end of any fiscal year shall be carried forward in the fund for the next fiscal year."

SECTION 5. The department of land and natural resources shall adopt rules to effectuate the purpose of this Act by July 1, 2014.

SECTION 6. Statutory material to be repealed is bracketed and stricken. New statutory material is underscored.

SECTION 7. This Act shall take effect upon its approval and shall be repealed on July 1, 2018; provided that sections 2, 3, and 4 shall take effect on July 1, 2015; provided further that sections 173A-5(d) and 195-9(b), Hawaii Revised Statutes, shall be reenacted in the form in which they read on June 30, 2015.



 

Report Title:

Environmental Conservation; Optional Contribution; Rental Motor Vehicles

 

Description:

Requires lessors of rental motor vehicles to include an option to the lessee in the motor vehicle agreement to contribute a sum to the Department of Land and Natural Resources for the preservation and protection of the environment commencing on July 1, 2015. Repeals on July 1, 2018. (HB760 HD1)

 

 

 

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