House Bill 1483 HD1 SD1, Reducing Department of Agriculture Water Rates for Moloka’i Irrigation Users and Providing Relief for Moloka’i Homestead Farmers Passes Senate Committee on Ways and Means

In News Release on April 4, 2011 at 8:45 pm

HONOLULU—On Wednesday, March 30, 2011, the members of the Senate Committee on Ways and Mean voted to pass House Bill 1483 HD1 SD1 with technical amendments. Introduced by Representative Mele Carroll, House Bill 1483 HD1 SD1 directs the Department of Agriculture to provide water to Moloka’i Irrigation System users who lease tracts of land under Section 207 of the Hawaiian Homes Commission Act, 1920 as amended, at a reduced rate. It also allows that the Department of Agriculture may forgive past due bills for the provision of irrigation water for Moloka’i homestead farmers.

For the record, the intent of forgiving past due water bills one time was only going to be available to those DHHL homesteaders who are already delinquent and needed assistance with bringing their water bill current because they fell into default or was given notice by the Department of Agriculture that their water was going to be shut off.

Possible reasons for the lack of being able to pay their water bill and/or bring it current was due to the situation we are all experiencing with the hardships caused by the devastating economic downturn.

Amendments made were to change the words “…shall forgive…” to “…may forgive…”

Rep. Mele Carroll said, “With the passing of House Bill 1483 HD1 SD1 by the Senate Committee on Ways and Means, we are closer to bringing some much needed relief to Moloka’i’s homestead farmers, With the increasing severity of economic impacts facing Moloka’i and its residents on a daily basis, HB1483 HD1 SD1 will assist with the availability of affordable water. House Bill 1483 HD1 SD1 provides an additional instrument for the necessary financial relief that is imperative to sustain their livelihood.”

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Contributed by Representative Mele Carrol