By MITCH LIES
SALEM -- The Oregon Senate on June 13 passed the Oregon Department of Agriculture's proposed 2013-15 budget with only 1 "no" vote.
ODA Director Katy Coba earlier characterized the budget as "probably the best budget we've had since I've been director."
The budget increases the department's overall funding from $84 million in 2011-13 to just under $95 million for the next biennium.
Full-time staff under the budget would increase from 343 to 351.
Earlier in the budget process, while in the joint Ways and Means Natural Resources Subcommittee, lawmakers added $500,000 to the department's weed program, a program that was facing $518,896 in cuts under a previous budget proposal.
And the subcommittee increased the state's wolf compensation and assistance fund from $100,000 in the current biennium to $200,000 for the next two years.
Lawmakers also continued to fund the state's pesticide stewardship partnership program, putting $1.49 million into the partnership.
And lawmakers put $4.4 million into the department's agricultural water quality program, including $1.9 million of general funds.
Lawmakers also provided the department a water-quantity position to work on increasing water supply development in Oregon.