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Land and Water

Should the state allow industrial solar energy development on our best agricultural lands? I most passionately say No. Several years ago, when I served on the House Committee on Agriculture, we voted to allow solar energy projects on agriculture lands rated C in soil quality. When I mentioned to the chair that I thought this might be a pretty good idea, he said he was comfortable with limited solar development on C lands, but he worried that in the coming years, they would come after the prime ag lands, grades A and B. That day has arrived. HB593 would allow large scale industrial solar energy development on A grade land. Of the 1.8 million acres of land classified as agricultural in Haw

First Crossover

The Senate voted on, and passed, 500 measures the other day, and the House of Representatives passed a similar number. Now, the hearings and amendment process begin anew for each measure that passed across to the opposite chamber. First Crossover has arrived. The vast majority of bills are not controversial, provide an obvious benefit, appropriate funds for a worthy cause, or make minor updates to existing laws. There are plenty of proposals, however, that warrant careful observation or opposition because they can have major impacts on our cost of living or quality of life. Every year, we consider proposals to create new tax schemes and expand existing taxes. We work on legislation desig

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