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ODA budget heads to Kitzhaber


SALEM -- The Oregon Department of Agriculture will lose 39 full- and part-time positions in the budget Oregon lawmakers have sent to the desk of Gov. John Kitzhaber.


But the agency picks up three positions in its market development division, picks up three positions in its water-quality program to help monitor agricultural water quality and is given a $250,000 increase in funding for predator control.


The department's $83 million budget includes funding for 343 full-time-equivalent positions, 48 positions less than the legislatively approved 2009-11 budget. Of the 39 positions the agency is losing, all are vacant.


The budget includes fee increases for seed dealers, seed retailers and confined animal feeding operations.


The total budget is down $3 million from the 2009-11 legislatively approved budget, and down about $1.5 million in general fund appropriation.


The budget cleared the Oregon Senate May 31 by a 30-0 vote. It previously passed the House 57-1.


"The support on the House and Senate floors among the Republicans and the Democrats has been very positive," said Katy Coba, director of the department. "In this environment, we're thankful to get the budget we are getting."


-- Mitch Lies



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