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HB 1331 Agriculture and Consumer Services, Department of; recodifying laws pertaining to agriculture, etc.

Introduced by: R. Steven Landes | all patrons    ...    notes | add to my profiles

SUMMARY AS PASSED HOUSE: (all summaries)

Revision of Title 3.1; Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services; commodity-related boards; protection of food supplies; domestic animals.  Creates proposed Title 3.2 (Agriculture, Animal Care, and Food) as a revision of existing Title 3.1 (Agriculture, Horticulture and Food) and consists of 65 chapters divided into five subtitles: Subtitle I (General Provisions; Protection and Promotion of Agriculture); Subtitle II (Boards, Councils, Foundations, and Commissions); Subtitle III (Production and Sale of Agricultural Products); Subtitle IV (Food and Drink; Weights and Measures); and Subtitle V (Domestic Animals). Subtitle I addresses the preservation of agricultural lands and the promotion of the agricultural industry. In addition to setting out the duties and responsibilities of the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, the Commissioner of Agriculture and Consumer Services, and the Office of Consumer Affairs, the first chapter includes several new provisions. These sections provide title-wide definitions and the authority to adopt regulations governing the conduct of referenda and replace existing sections throughout the current title. Subtitle II establishes the various commodity-related boards, councils, and foundations formed to promote the agricultural industry in the Commonwealth. It begins with a listing of the special funds associated with these various collegial bodies and the reporting requirements for commodity boards, then sets out all of the commodity boards and prescribes their powers and duties. Subtitle III provides for the production and sale of agricultural products through a system of grading, licensing, certification, and registration. The sections in these chapters have been organized in a similar sequence, with a definitions section placed first, followed by agency administrative responsibilities, licensing or registrations requirements, enforcement provisions and, finally, penalties. Subtitle IV sets standards for consumer protection. These laws: (i) prescribe standards for ensuring the wholesomeness and safety of food products, including proper labeling practices; and (ii) protect the consumer by establishing standards for the instruments and devices used in weighing and measuring commodities. Subtitle V provides for the regulation of domestic animals in the Commonwealth.