East Hawaii News

Airport Agricultural Inspection Stations Get Boost

July 17, 2015, 3:41 PM HST
* Updated July 17, 3:45 PM
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Travelers might find it easier to pass through agricultural inspection stations on the Big Island after Senator Brian Schatz fought to increase funding by $1 million in the Agriculture Appropriations Bill for the 2016 fiscal year, which was passed by the Senate Appropriations Committee on Thursday.

“Without agricultural inspection stations at our neighbor island airports, tourists would be forced to claim the bags in Honolulu, get them inspected, and then recheck them before boarding their flights home,” Senator Schatz said. “This funding makes it easier to ensure visitors and residents alike have a better experience traveling through our airports.”

Senator Schatz sought to increase funding in the overall agriculture appropriations bill by $27.9 million for airport agricultural inspections so that passengers can directly connect to flights on the mainland. He also fought for $45 million to increase food safety as listeriosis outbreaks caused by contaminated produce leave evidence that the nation’s food supply needs to be protected. Senator Schatz also provided his support in the $92 million allotment to combat invasive species, which include Brown Tree Snake control.

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