An Advocate for Agriculture & Food Sustainability for Our Islands
As the chairperson of the Senate Committee on Agriculture and Hawaiian Affairs in 2008, Senator Tokuda authored and fostered the passage of landmark legislation (SB2646 SD2 HD2 CD1-Act 233) to protect and preserve Hawaii's Important Agricultural Lands (IAL), fulfilling a 30 year constitutional mandate specified in the 1978 Hawaii Constitutional Convention. Thanks to Act 233, thousands of acres of agricultural lands have already been protected, and tens of thousands of acres will receive the IAL designation in coming years. This act also provides $10 million in tax credits and loans to give farmers the tools they need to farm IAL.
In 2008, Senator Tokuda also introduced important legislation (SB2850 SD2 HD2 CD1-Act 236) to establish a biosecurity program within the Department of Agriculture to control and prevent the importation and spread of pests and restricted organisms that threaten Hawaii's economy and way of life.
Jill was also instrumental in convincing the Senate Ways and Means and House Finance committees to include $5 million in appropriations for interim and permanent joint inspection biosecurity facilities.