Bills funding fight against invasive pests die in Senate

Bills funding fight against invasive pests die in Senate

HILO, Hawaii (AP) - Two bills supporting efforts to combat invasive pests on the Big Island, including one that attacks a highly profitable agricultural crop, have failed to make it through the state Senate.

The Hawaii Tribune-Herald reports that the legislation, which addresses little fire ants and an insect that kills macadamia trees, had been referred to the Senate Ways and Means Committee after passing through the House. However, the bills never received a hearing before the committee and didn't meet a deadline to move forward.

Macadamia nuts are one of the highest-grossing agricultural crops in the state. The legislation aimed at mitigating the impacts of the macadamia felted coccid would have provided funding for research and treatment.

The fire ants bill would have launched a treatment program for residents dealing with infestations.

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