HB 1770

This analysis was prepared by non-partisan legislative staff for the use of legislative members in their deliberations. This analysis is not a part of the legislation nor does it constitute a statement of legislative intent.

As Reported by Senate Committee On:

Agriculture, Water & Rural Economic Development, March 21, 2013

Title: An act relating to the appointment of nonvoting advisory members to commodity boards.

Brief Description: Concerning the appointment of nonvoting advisory members to commodity boards.

Sponsors: Representatives Buys, Blake, Chandler, Lytton and Ryu.

Brief History: Passed House: 3/04/13, 98-0.

Committee Activity: Agriculture, Water & Rural Economic Development: 3/19/13, 3/21/13 [DP].


Majority Report: Do pass.

Signed by Senators Hatfield, Chair; Honeyford, Ranking Member; Brown, Eide, Hobbs and Shin.

Staff: Bob Lee (786-7404)

Background: The Washington State Department of Agriculture (WSDA) oversees the marketing of agricultural commodities. The WSDA director may adopt a marketing order that establishes a commodity board for an agricultural commodity or agricultural commodities with like or common qualities or producers.

A commodity board is created for the purpose of aiding agricultural producers in preventing economic waste in the marketing of their agricultural commodities; developing efficient methods of marketing agricultural products; enabling agricultural producers to develop better and more efficient production, irrigation, processing, transportation, handling, marketing, and utilization of agricultural products; and protecting the interests of consumers by assuring a quality supply of agricultural commodities, among other reasons. A commodity board is composed of five to thirteen members including the WSDA director or their representative, and equal representation, if possible, of producers and handlers.

Both producer and handler board members must be citizens and residents over the age of 18 years. A producer board member must be and have been engaged in producing for the affected commodity within the state for at least five years with a substantial portion of income coming from producing that commodity, and not be engaged in business, directly or indirectly as a handler or other dealer. A handler board member must be and have been, either individually or as an officer or employee, actually engaged in handling the affected commodity within the state for at least five years with a substantial portion of income coming from handling that commodity. Producers and handlers must continue to meet these qualifications during their terms of office.

Washington currently has 23 agricultural commodity boards, including the following: the Apple Commission, Beer Commission, Dry Pea and Lentil Commission, and Red Raspberry Commission. Fifteen commissions are established by the WSDA director through the adoption of marketing orders and seven commissions are established under separate state statutes.

Summary of Bill: A commodity board may appoint up to two nonvoting advisory members to the board who have expertise in marketing, operations, or other topics relevant to the work of the board. Nonvoting advisory members' term of office cannot exceed three years, but they may be reappointed to serve additional consecutive terms.

Nonvoting advisory members do not count toward establishing a quorum of the board, and they are compensated the same as board members.

Appropriation: None.

Fiscal Note: Available.

Committee/Commission/Task Force Created: No.

Effective Date: Ninety days after adjournment of session in which bill is passed.

Staff Summary of Public Testimony: PRO: The Red Raspberry Commission requests the ability for additional expertise to be added to their board such as a dietician. Allowing persons to serve as non-voting members in an advisory capacity will encourage participation at a low cost to the Commission.

Persons Testifying: PRO: Representative Buys, prime sponsor; Tom Krugman, Red Raspberry Commission; Jack Field, WA Cattlemen's Assn.