WSR 98-06-083

PREPROPOSAL STATEMENT OF INQUIRY

DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE

(Apple Advertising Commission)

[Filed March 4, 1998, 10:05 a.m.]

Subject of Possible Rule Making: Increase the maximum allowable assessment rate on fresh apples from $.543 per hundredweight ($.25 per 46 lb. carton) to $1.087 per hundredweight ($.50 per 46 lb. carton).

Statutes Authorizing the Agency to Adopt Rules on this Subject: Chapter 15.24 RCW, Washington Apple Advertising Commission, and chapter 303, Laws of 1997.

Reasons Why Rules on this Subject may be Needed and What They Might Accomplish: The Washington Apple Advertising Commission collects assessments on fresh apples to fund advertising and promotion programs. Since the last assessment increase in 1990, inflation has significantly reduced the impact of available funds, even after accounting for crop increases. In addition, apple production in Washington, the balance of the United States and throughout the world has increased dramatically. As a result, additional promotional funds may be necessary for Washington to maintain its world market share.

Other Federal and State Agencies that Regulate this Subject and the Process Coordinating the Rule with These Agencies: None.

Process for Developing New Rule: Adoption of the rule requires approval by a majority of the affected producers voting in a referendum under the supervision of the director of agriculture.

Interested parties can participate in the decision to adopt the new rule and formulation of the proposed rule before publication. Public hearings will be held to give interested parties the opportunity to participate and comment on the proposed rule. At the conclusion of the hearing process, a favorable vote by producers will be required prior to implementation of any funding increase. Contact Steve Lutz, President, Washington Apple Advertising Commission, 2900 Euclid Avenue, P.O. Box 18, Wenatchee, WA 98807, phone (509) 663-9600, FAX (509) 662-5824.

March 4, 1998

Steve Lutz

President

Legislature Code Reviser

Register

Washington State Code Reviser's Office