Hawaii lawmakers want $1.3M to combat beetle

Associated Press

HONOLULU (AP) - Hawaii lawmakers want to dedicate more than $1 million over the next two years to mitigate the effects of a beetle that is endangering the state's coffee crops.

Almost a dozen representatives co-sponsored a bill to spend $1 million on research to figure out how to stop the beetle from infesting Hawaii coffee plantations.

The lawmakers also want $330,000 to fund a task force to control existing infestations.

Lawmakers say the coffee berry borer beetle has already infested Kona coffee plantations.

They say the beetle poses a threat to Hawaii's multi-million dollar coffee industry.

The industry brings in millions of dollars in revenue each year through sales and tourism, lawmakers said.

The bill has been referred to the agriculture and finance committees. It hasn't been scheduled for a hearing yet.

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