East Hawaii News

Bill to Battle Little Fire Ants Dies in Committee

April 29, 2014, 7:09 PM HST
* Updated April 30, 9:02 AM
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A bill to fund a pilot program to control little fire ants in Hawaii County parks failed to make it out of this year’s Legislature.

Senate Bill 2920, which would have also established a canine ant-detection team, died in conference committee Friday night.

Puna Sen. Russell Ruderman, one of the bill’s sponsors and one of the Senate conferees, said the issue was money.

“We couldn’t get agreement from the finance committees to fund it,” he said.

However, the Legislature did pass House Bill 1716, which contains $5 million for the statewide Hawaii Invasive Species Council.

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That group funds projects through invasive species councils in the individual counties, and Ruderman was optimistic that some of that funding could be used to battle little fire ants on the Big Island.

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