|BILL AS PASSED BY HOUSE||2007-2008|
AN ACT RELATING TO VERMONT MILK COMMISSION
It is hereby enacted by the General Assembly of the State of Vermont:
Sec. 1. 6 V.S.A. § 2922 is amended to read:
§ 2922. VERMONT MILK COMMISSION; MEMBERSHIP
shall be a Vermont milk commission, to consist of seven nine
members, one member of which shall be the secretary of agriculture, food and
markets. The secretary shall be chair of the commission and serve without
compensation. A quorum shall be a majority of the commission. The
commission shall act only by an affirmative vote of at least six members.
The remaining commission members shall serve for terms of three years, except
for the legislative members who shall serve for the term of their election,
and be chosen as follows:
* * *
(5) One member from the house committee on agriculture chosen by the speaker and one member from the senate committee on agriculture chosen by the president pro tempore of the senate. For attendance at a meeting when the general assembly is not in session, these two legislative members shall be entitled to the same per diem compensation and reimbursement of necessary expenses as provided members of standing committees under 2 V.S.A. § 406.
All expenditures under this subchapter shall be paid from the receipts
Sec. 2. 6 V.S.A. § 2923 is amended to read:
§ 2923. ADMINISTRATIVE WORK
Vermont agency of agriculture, food and markets shall perform the
administrative work of the commission as directed by the commission. The
shall may reimburse the agency of agriculture, food
and markets for the cost of services performed by the department agency.
The commission may enter into contracts with and employ technical experts and
other such officers, agents, and employees as are necessary to effect the
purposes of this chapter, and may fix their qualifications, duties, and
compensation. The contract remuneration and employment
compensation shall be paid from the Vermont milk commission fund and shall be
subject to the limitations of section 2924 of this chapter.
Sec. 3. 6 V.S.A. § 2924 is amended to read:
§ 2924. POWERS AND DUTIES; PRICING AUTHORITY; PUBLIC HEARINGS
* * *
Equitable minimum producer prices. The commission may establish by
order after notice and hearing an equitable minimum price to be paid to
dairy producers for milk produced used in dairy products sold in
Vermont on the basis of the use thereof in the various classes, grades,
and forms. Because of the need to react immediately to changing market
conditions and prices, an equitable minimum price may be established by
emergency rule. Prices so established which exceed federal order prices
shall be collected by the commission from the handlers for distribution to
dairy producers as a blend price. The cost of the contracts and employment
pursuant to section 2922 of this title and of administering the collection
and distribution of these moneys shall be covered by such moneys, not to exceed
* * *
(c) Public hearings. In order to be informed of the status of the state's dairy industry, the commission shall hold a public hearing:
(1) At least annually.
Whenever the price paid to producers
in Vermont, including the federal
market order price and any over-order premiums, on average, has been reduced $0.50
or more for the previous month, except when such increase is attributable to
normal seasonal changes in price by five percent or more over the last
month or by 10 percent or more over the last three months.
Whenever the retail price, on average, has increased by more than
10 percent per gallon within a three-month period or $0.32 15
percent per gallon within a 12-month period.
(4) Whenever the cost of production increases by 10 percent or more within a period of 3 to 12 months.
(5) Whenever a loss or substantial lessening of the supply of fluid dairy products of proper quality in a specified market has occurred or is likely to occur and that the public health is menaced, jeopardized or likely to be impaired or deteriorated by the loss or substantial lessening of the supply of fluid dairy products of proper quality in a specified market.
* * *
Premiums on handlers and distributors for
milk dairy products
sold at retail in Vermont. The commission may assess a premium on handlers and
distributors for milk dairy products sold at retail in Vermont. The
premiums assessed and received shall be paid to the state treasury and
deposited in the special fund established pursuant to section 2938 of this
chapter. The proceeds of the premium shall be distributed to dairy
producers as a blend price. Any applicable provision of subsections
2925(b)-(f) of this title shall apply to the assessment of such premiums. In
assessing these premiums, the commission shall also take into account any
similar assessments made by other New England states.
Sec. 4. 6 V.S.A. § 2925 is amended to read:
§ 2925. MINIMUM PRODUCER PRICE REGULATION
The commission may make, rescind, or amend
a rule an order
regulating minimum producer prices if the commission finds that the federal
milk marketing order minimum price is adequate or inadequate as the case may be
to ensure that the price paid to dairy producers will cover the costs of milk
production and provide a reasonable economic return to dairy producers
sufficient to ensure a stable milk production and distribution system in
Vermont. The commission may amend or rescind a rule without a public
hearing when necessary to conform the price with an increase in the federal
market order price.
Guidelines for setting prices. In setting equitable minimum prices, the
commission may investigate and ascertain what are reasonable costs and charges
for producing, hauling, handling, processing and any other services performed
in respect to
fluid dairy products. The board commission
shall take into consideration the balance between production and consumption of
milk dairy products, the costs of production and distribution,
the purchasing power of the public and the price necessary to yield a
reasonable return to the producer producers, handlers, and to
* * *
Minimum retail prices should reflect the lowest price at which milk purchased
Vermont producers can be received, processed, packaged, and
distributed by handlers and distributors at a just and reasonable return.
In establishing minimum producer and retail prices, the commission shall make
applicable findings regarding the competitive position of
producers and their costs, handler and distributor costs, and reasonable
rates of return, and actual handler and distributor rates of return.
* * *
Purchases by or sales to authorized officials of any town or city charity or
public welfare department or by charitable organizations approved by the city
or town officials for charitable uses, and school lunch milk, shall be exempt
from the price-fixing provisions of this chapter. (f)
This chapter shall apply to milk produced outside the state subject to
regulation by the state in the exercise of its constitutional police
powers. Any sale or purchase by distributors or handlers of such milk within
this state at a price less than a regulated minimum price shall be unlawful. (g)
This section shall not apply to a producer-handler with an annual production of
one million pounds of milk or less.
Sec. 5. 6 V.S.A. § 2929 is amended to read:
§ 2929. POWER TO MAKE ORDERS AND CONDUCT HEARINGS;
section and sections 2675, 2725, 2726, 2921-2928, and
2931-2933 of this title chapter, the commission shall have the power
to make orders hereunder, conduct hearings, subpoena, and examine under
oath producers, handlers, and distributors, their books, records,
documents, correspondence, and accounts, and any other person it deems
necessary to carry out the purposes and intent of said sections this
(b) Any order issued under this chapter shall be made final only after a public hearing and after publication of a proposed order for public review and comment for 30 days following the publication of the proposed order.
The commission may adopt
, promulgate and enforce such reasonable rules, and
regulations, and procedures as are deemed necessary to carry out the administration
of the provisions of this section and sections 2675, 2725, 2726,
2921-2928 and 2931-2933 of this title chapter.
Sec. 6. 6 V.S.A. § 2931(a) is amended to read:
(a) Within 20 days after any final order or decision has been made by the commission, any party to the action or proceeding before the commission, or any person directly affected thereby, may apply for a rehearing in respect to any matter determined in the action or proceeding, or covered or included in the order, specifying in the motion for rehearing the ground therefor. The commission may grant such rehearing if in its opinion good reason therefore is stated in such motion.
Sec. 7. 6 V.S.A. § 2932 is amended to read:
§ 2932. DETERMINATION OF MOTION FOR REHEARING
the filing of a motion for rehearing, the commission shall within ten days,
either grant or deny the motion, or suspend the order or decision complained of
pending further consideration
, and any order of suspension may be upon terms
and conditions prescribed by the commission.
Sec. 8. 6 V.S.A. § 2938 is added to read:
§ 2938. FUND ESTABLISHED
The Vermont milk commission fund is established in the state treasury and shall be administered by the secretary of agriculture, food and markets in accordance with the provisions of subchapter 5 of chapter 7 of Title 32, except that interest earned on the fund shall be retained in the fund. Proceeds from this chapter shall be deposited into the fund. The fund shall be used as necessary for the purposes of this chapter. The treasurer shall distribute funds as directed by the commission.
Sec. 9. 6 V.S.A. § 2723a(a) is amended to read:
It shall be unlawful for any person to distribute fluid dairy products as a
distributor, as defined in this chapter, without a license issued by the
secretary. The commissioner secretary shall license all
distributors annually. Application for the license shall be made to the commissioner
secretary upon a form furnished by the commissioner secretary.
The application shall be accompanied by an annual license fee of $15.00 for one
year or any part thereof. The license period shall be from January 1 to
Sec. 10. 6 V.S.A. § 2981(b) is amended to read:
distributor handler shall pay the Vermont milk commission
council each month two cents per hundredweight on all fluid milk
sold for consumption within the state of Vermont. Each distributor handler
shall file a report and pay the distributor's handler’s
hundredweight fee to the commission council on forms provided for
that purpose, except that distributors handlers who sell less
than 100 quarts of fluid milk per day may file reports and pay the
prescribed hundredweight fees at the end of each three-month period. In case
the same fluid milk is handled by more than one distributor handler,
the first distributor handler within the state dealing in or
handling the fluid milk shall be the distributor handler
within the meaning of this chapter.
Sec. 11. REPEAL
6 V.S.A. §§ 2928, 2930, 2951, and 2987(b) are repealed.
Sec. 12. EFFECTIVE DATE
This act shall take effect on passage.
The Vermont General Assembly
115 State Street