Capital Press

SACRAMENTO -- The Assembly Agriculture Committee last week approved bills to regulate management of the milk pool's trust fund, promote California-grown produce and tweak the state's apple commission.

The committee unanimously passed:

* AB1910, authored by the committee, would add obstacles to the process by which the state takes cash from the Milk Producers Security Trust Fund to cover defaulted handlers' payments to the milk pool. It would require the state to exhaust all legal and administrative avenues before accessing the fund, which is fed by a processor fee. The bill is sponsored by the Dairy Institute of California and supported by Western United Dairymen.

* AB1960, by Assemblywoman Fiona Ma, D-San Francisco, would require state agencies to purchase California-grown fruits, nuts and vegetables when the quality is comparable to, and the price matches, produce grown elsewhere. The bill is sponsored by the California Apple Commission and supported by the California Tomato Growers Association, California Citrus Mutual and the California Farm Bureau Federation.

* AB1795, authored by the committee, would remove term limits from members serving on the California Apple Commission, which supports the bill.

All three bills now head to the Assembly Appropriations Committee.

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