The Senate Agriculture and Rural Development Committee has listed a number of bills on its agenda for its first meeting on Monday.
The agenda includes an introduction of staff members and other business, which includes:
- SB237 Creating Captive Cervid Farming Act
- SB30 Permitting sale of raw milk
- SB86 Regulating equine boarding facilities
- SB210 Authorizing Agriculture Commissioner promulgate legislative rule relating to frozen desserts and imitation frozen desserts
- SB211 Authorizing Agriculture Commissioner promulgate legislative rule relating to animal disease control
- SB212 Authorizing Agriculture Commissioner promulgate legislative rule relating to auctioneers
- SB213 Authorizing Agriculture Commissioner promulgate legislative rule relating to Pesticide Control Act of 1990 fee structure
- SB214 Authorizing Agriculture Commissioner promulgate legislative rule relating to Plant Pest Act
- SB215 Authorizing Agriculture Commissioner promulgate legislative rule relating to meat and poultry inspection
Committee chair and Majority Whip Sen. Daniel Hall, R-Wyoming, said the rules bills are necessary in order to move forward and he doesn’t expect much discussion on them. The same for the equine boarding facility bill, which he described as simply a “technical correction.”
Hall said the two substantive topics for the meeting will be the raw milk bill and the Cervid Farming Act. He said he is not certain that both will be dealt with due to time constraints but he certainly hopes to address them.
The Majority Whip said he doesn’t anticipate too much opposition to the the farming act, especially given the fact that it has made it through the Senate for the past several years.
During the 2014 session, the house version of the bill (HB 4286) passed through the Senate with a 28-6 vote. In 2013, there was no bill proposed on the subject in either chamber. In 2012, the Senate passed its version of the bill with a 26-8 vote.
Similarly, Hall is optimistic about the passage of raw milk legislation. Last year, Hall sponsored a bill which died in the agriculture committee, which was chaired by former Sen. Ronald Miller, D-Greenbrier.
But this year, with Hall being the committee chairman, the legislation is likely to have a different outcome.
Of the 11 member committee, only Hall and four others (Sens. Robert Beach, D-Monongalia; William Laird, D-Fayette; Bob Williams, D-Taylor; Craig Blair, R-Berkeley) who served on the committee last year, will are returning.
The four Senators who co-sponsored the bill ( Sens. Charles Trump, R-Morgan, Blair, Williams and Karnes, R-Nicholas) are serving on the committee this year.
Hall said he knows the bill will have support and opposition and he is willing to call on any audience members that committee members would like to hear testimony from.
The one-page bill would allow for the sale of raw milk as soon as Jan. 1, 2016. The bill also authorizes the state Department of Agriculture to create rules regarding the sale of raw milk.
“Its another opportunity for economic growth in the state,” Hall told the Daily Mail.
If the committee does pass SB 30 , it will then be sent to the Committee on Health and Human Resources.