SSB 5972

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 Passed Senate, March 9, 2015

Title: An act relating to procurement of seeds by state agencies.

Brief Description: Concerning the procurement of seeds by state agencies.

Sponsors: Senate Committee on Agriculture, Water & Rural Economic Development (originally sponsored by Senators Schoesler, Hatfield and Warnick).

Brief History:

Committee Activity: Agriculture, Water & Rural Economic Development: 2/17/15, 2/19/15 [DPS].

Passed Senate: 3/09/15, 49-0.


Majority Report: That Substitute Senate Bill No. 5972 be substituted therefor, and the substitute bill do pass.

Signed by Senators Warnick, Chair; Dansel, Vice Chair; Hatfield, Ranking Minority Member; Hobbs and Honeyford.

Staff: Diane Smith (786-7410)

Background: State agencies have occasion to purchase seed in the course of executing their statutory duties. Contracts for seed may present unique factors that contract provisions could address in order to protect the interests of the agency.

Summary of Substitute Bill: State agencies must require suppliers of seed to provide seed certified to ensure its genetic purity and identity. The testing must be conducted by the Washington State Department of Agriculture or by any other state that has standards and procedures approved by the federal government.

Tree seed and seed of woody species are exempt.

The agency's expectations for the germination or viability of the seed must be stated in the contract as an essential element of the supplier's performance.

Appropriation: None.

Fiscal Note: Not requested.

Committee/Commission/Task Force Created: No.

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

Staff Summary of Public Testimony on Proposed Substitute as Heard in Committee: PRO: The previous bill on native and reclamation seed was found to need clarification such that a new bill was needed. This bill is a critical tool, providing uniform guidelines that level the playing field for all who may wish to compete for state contracts. It maximizes the use of state funds by allowing for a sliding scale of price points that could be in direct correlation to the quality of the seed provided.

Persons Testifying: PRO: Senator Warnick, Committee Sponsor; Keva Herron Guszkowski, Department of Agriculture (WSDA) Policy Coordinator to Director Hover; Victor Shaul, WSDA Seed Program Manager.