BILL ANALYSIS                                                                                                                                                                                                    



                           SENATE COMMITTEE on AGRICULTURE
                          Senator Cathleen Galgiani, Chair

          BILL NO:    AB 1389                   HEARING:  07/02/13
          AUTHOR:   Assembly Agriculture CommitteeFISCAL:  Yes
          VERSION:  06/10/13                    CONSULTANT:  Anne Megaro
          

                                    Agriculture.


           SUMMARY  :

          This bill amends the number of members appointed to the Shell  
          Egg Advisory Committee and allows for the San Joaquin Valley  
          Quality Cotton District to become inoperative, as specified.   
          This bill also amends the California Asparagus Commission to  
          remove the use of geographical districts, consecutive term  
          limits for members, and deletes provisions allowing the  
          commission to function as a corporation.
          

           BACKGROUND AND EXISTING LAW  :

           The Shell Egg Advisory Committee (SEAC)  was established in 1972  
          to advise the secretary of the California Department of Food and  
          Agriculture (CDFA) on matters pertaining to standards for shell  
          eggs including quality, sampling, inspection, fees, and  
          enforcement of all related laws and regulations.  In 2002, AB  
          2981 (Agriculture) amended the duties of the SEAC to include  
          components of the Egg Quality Assurance Plan, a voluntary,  
          industry-driven food safety program developed in cooperation  
          with CDFA, USDA, UC Cooperative Extension and several other  
          state and federal government entities.

           The San Joaquin Valley Quality Cotton District  (formerly known  
          as the One-Variety Cotton District) was established in 1926 to  
          promote, encourage, aid, and protect the planting and growing of  
          high-quality cotton in the state of California.  Only two  
          varieties of cotton may be grown, Pima and Acala, to avoid  
          cross-pollination in the field that could degrade the quality of  
          cotton grown in the district.  The district consists of Fresno,  
          Madera, Merced, Kern, Kings, and Tulare counties.  CDFA and  
          county agricultural commissioners (CACs) are responsible for  
          enforcement of these provisions and related regulations, which  
          are funded by industry assessment fees.

           Marketing Programs:  Existing law provides for the creation of  
          marketing programs within the California Food and Agriculture  




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          Code, Division 22.  The Legislature "finds and declares that the  
          agricultural and seafood industries are vitally important  
          elements of the state's economy and are supported by state  
          established commissions and councils specified in this division  
          that are mandated to enhance and preserve the economic interests  
          of the State of California."  

          There are currently 16 active commissions in California, all of  
          which are governed by boards of directors and overseen by the  
          California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA).  These  
          commissions were created to enhance their industries by  
          investing in promotion, advertising, education, marketing  
          research, scientific research, and the creation and regulation  
          of quality standards.  

           The California Asparagus Commission  was established in 1991 to  
          engage in the production and marketing of asparagus in  
          California through advertising, promotion, and research.  The  
          commission is divided into two districts which separate northern  
          and southern counties to ensure proper representation by  
          producers when electing commission members.  An assessment fee  
          is collected from growers to fund operating and enforcement  
          costs of these provisions.  

           
          PROPOSED LAW  :

           This bill:  

                 Increases to 10 the number of appointed members of the  
               Shell Egg Advisory Committee.  Eight members shall be  
               representatives of the egg industry, one nonvoting member  
               from the California Agricultural Commissioners and Sealers  
               Association, and one shall be a public member.

                 Adds provisions to allow the San Joaquin Valley Quality  
               Cotton District to become inoperative unless a resolution  
               is approved or the secretary receives a petition from  
               members of the cotton industry and determines that  
               continued operation of specified provisions of this chapter  
               is in the best interest of the industry and the state.

                 Authorizes the secretary of CDFA to establish a cotton  
               advisory committee.  The committee shall be composed of  
               cotton growers, handlers, and representatives of cotton  
               ginning organizations.






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                 Provides that the secretary shall not be required to  
               administer any provision of this chapter unless sufficient  
               funds generated for purposes of this chapter are available.

                 Removes the use of "districts" within the California  
               Asparagus Commission and allows the commission to reduce  
               the number of producers who serve on the commission with a  
               two-thirds vote.

                 Removes the limit on consecutive terms for commission  
               members.

                 Deletes provisions allowing the commission to function  
               as a corporate body.

                 Makes technical and conforming changes.



           COMMENTS  :
          
           Stated need for this bill:   According to the author, "Cotton  
          acreage over the last 20 years has dropped from over 1.1 million  
          acres to less than 200,000 acres.  With less acreage, the  
          potential for cross contamination has been reduced and the need  
          for the District statutes lessened? Due to prudent budgeting and  
          reserves, the District has sufficient funds to operate at this  
          reduced acreage level for several years.  Therefore, making the  
          statute inoperative should not create problems in the District  
          while reducing the financial burden on cotton producers."  

          In regards to the  Shell Egg Advisory Committee  , the author  
          states that this bill would "increase the number of industry  
          members from six to eight, with the goal to represent facets of  
          the industry not currently represented such as out of state egg  
          handlers and egg product producers."  

          The  California Asparagus Commission  also requires amendments to  
          address industry changes. In 2011, California asparagus was  
          valued at $57.2 million, making California the top grower of  
          asparagus in the U.S.  However, over the last decade, growers  
          have reduced asparagus production by two-thirds, from 36,000  
          acres to 11,500 acres.  The author argues that due to the  
          reduction in planted acres, "the loss of a number of involved  
          growers and term limits has resulted in board vacancies in both  
          Districts.  To maintain an active, productive board, the  
          Commission wishes to remove the District designations, board  





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          term limits as well as gain the right to change the number of  
          board positions if necessary."


           RELATED LEGISLATION  :

          AB 2981 (Agriculture), Chapter 535, Statutes of 2002.  Allows  
          the Shell Egg Advisory Committee to advise the secretary of CDFA  
          on components of the Egg Quality Assurance Plan.

          SB 565 (Florez), Chapter 236, Statutes of 2003.  Increases the  
          maximum assessment fee on cottonseed delinted for planting  
          purposes from $4 to $6 per hundredweight.  These funds are used  
          to support the activities of the San Joaquin Valley Cotton  
          District.

          AB 1913 (Fuller), Chapter 189, Statutes of 2008. Reduces the  
          number of board members for the San Joaquin Valley Cotton  
          District, defines cotton growers, and makes other technical and  
          conforming changes.
           
           AB 3099 (Waters), Chapter 1058, Statutes of 1990.  Creates the  
          California Asparagus Commission with prescribed membership,  
          powers, duties, and responsibilities of the commission.   
          Authorizes the commission to engage in development, maintenance,  
          and expansion of markets, marketing research, advertising,  
          promotion, and research relating to asparagus.


           PRIOR ACTIONS  :

          Assembly Floor      74-0
          Assembly Appropriations  17-0
          Assembly Agriculture       7-0

           SUPPORT  :
          
          California Asparagus Commission
          California Cotton Ginners Association
          California Cotton Growers Association
          Pacific Egg & Poultry Association


           OPPOSITION  :
          
          None received






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