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Inslee to sign bill adding expertise to commodity commissions




By STEVE BROWN


Capital Press


OLYMPIA -- Washington Gov. Jay Inslee has indicated he will sign a bill Tuesday allowing commodity boards to appoint advisory members to bring added expertise in marketing, operations or other relevant topics.


Rep. Vincent Buys, R-Lynden, was primary sponsor of House Bill 1770, which was approved unanimously in the House of Representatives and the Senate. Co-sponsors were Republican Bruce Chandler and Democrats Brian Blake, Kristine Lytton and Cindy Ryu.


Buys said the legislation will provide flexibility for agricultural commissions so they can use greater marketing expertise in promoting their products, such as wheat, raspberries and dairy.


"Agriculture is a leading industry in our state," he said. "This bill would help our growers market their goods in a different way which will help sales. In this economy, improving the marketing of our agriculture products is a benefit to all Washingtonians."


HB1770 specifies that up to two advisers can be chosen. In their non-voting roles, they will not count toward establishing a quorum of the board.


Their terms may not exceed three years, but they may be reappointed to additional terms. Also they must be compensated in the same manner as other board members.


Also scheduled to be signed Tuesday:


* HB1886 permits the Washington State Department of Agriculture to recover costs for data entry and processing related to animal health documents that facilitate disease control and traceability.


* HB1889 authorizes the transfer of an additional $150,000 from the WSDA's Inspection Account to its Pest Account by Sept. 1. The funds involved in this transfer must originate from tree fruit inspection fees collected in one of the fruit and vegetable inspection districts and must be used for the control of apple maggot within the district.


Three other bills that have been delivered to governor are scheduled to be signed April 25:


* HB1112 and HB1113 will require the state Department of Fish and Wildlife and Department of Ecology to identify the sources of information reviewed and relied upon before taking significant agency action.


* HB1209 will extend the Christmas tree grower license program.


April 28 is the last day of the legislative session.



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