HB 1908 by King, Tarcy/Hinojosa- Relating to the safety of the fresh fruit and vegetables produced in this state.The bill requires the Texas Department of Agriculture (TDA) toassist the fresh fruit and vegetable industries with food safety issues. Thebill would also requireTDAto coordinate, plan, and approvetraining and awareness programs for producers and packers of freshfruits and vegetables.
HB 2527 by Aycock/Hegar - Relating to the regulation of commercial fertilizer. HB 2527 preempts and supersedes any local legislation already in place by a political subdivision relating to commercial fertilizer regulation. It also amends Section 63.152 (Registration Required), Agriculture Code, to prohibit the production, storage, and transfer of ammonium nitrates unless the person holds a certificate of registration. The bill also clarifies what information is to be included on an application for registration submitted by an applicant who owns an ammonium nitrate facility.
HB 375 by Miller, Sid/Estes - Relating to classifying elk and elk hybrids as livestock under the Agriculture Code. Currently, many farmers and ranchers receive agriculture-related valuation for farming and ranching operations on their property. Historically, farm elk have fallen into the ag valuation category but, because the Agriculture Code does not specifically include "elk" in the definition of "livestock," a few counties are revoking agriculture-related valuations of some property owners. HB 375 relates to classifying elk and elk hybrids as livestock under the Agriculture Code.
HB 1530 by Button/ Deuell- Relating to the licensing and regulation of health-related pest control by the Department of Agriculture. HB 1530 addresses the significant public health threats that mosquitoes pose, including concerns over the West Nile Virus. By amending pesticide law, this bill allows the Texas Department of Agriculture (TDA) to license health-related pesticide applicators for free or for a minimal fee. This will ensure that public health professionals retain the training and licensure important in managing insecticides while keeping Texas residents safe from potentially harmful mosquito populations.
HB 1622 by Giddings/Zaffirini- Relating to a grant program to provide children at risk of hunger or obesity with increased access to nutritious foods. HB 1622 will combat the growing crises of hunger and obesity among Texas youth by providing access to food choices vital to both effective nutrition education and behavioral change. This bill addresses this deficit and supplements existing efforts by nonprofit agencies to combat child obesity by establishing a grant program to purchase and distribute nutritious foods to children at risk of hunger or obesity. HB 1622 amends current law relating to a grant program to provide children at risk of hunger or obesity with increased access to nutritious foods.
HB 1684 by Brown, Betty/Estes- Relating to the creation and administration of the rural veterinarian loan repayment program. HB 1684 amends current law relating to the creation and administration of the rural veterinarian loan repayment program. Reasonable access to veterinary care is crucial for the continued maintenance and health of animal agriculture. Many farmers, ranchers, and cattlemen have highlighted the need for more rural large animal veterinarians in rural areas. Given the growth of the Texas deer breeding industry, the need has extended to include large animal practitioners who are familiar with deer medicine and protocols.
HB 3144 by Gonzalez Toureilles/ Seliger- Relating to an exemption from the sales and use tax for property used in agricultural operations and for aircraft used in connection with agriculture. HB 3144 extends the sales tax exemption for agricultural items to include tangible personal property, including tires or other equipment exclusively used or employed on a farm or ranch for specified purposes. It also clarifies the exemption from sales and use tax for machinery and equipment used in agricultural aircraft operations. This is consistent with current law because it affords agricultural aircraft the same tax exemptions extended to other forms of agricultural machinery.
HB 4006 by Hardcastle/Estes- Relating to veterinarian reports of diseased animals. The legislation requires veterinarians, veterinary diagnostic laboratories (including the TVMDL) and/or persons having care, custody or control of livestock, exotic livestock, bison, domestic or exotic fowl to report certainsignificant diseases to the Texas Animal Health Commission (TAHC)within 24 hours of diagnosis.
HB 4031 by McCall/Seliger- Relating to the agricultural biomass and landfill diversion incentive program. The bill would amend the Agriculture Code to modify the Agricultural Biomass and Landfill Diversion Incentive Program to include renewable biomass aggregators and bio-coal fuel producers who provide qualified agricultural biomass, forest wood waste, urban wood waste, co-firing biomass, or storm-generated biomass debris to facilities that use biomass to generate electric energy.
SB 184 by Watson/Chisum- Relating to "no regrets" greenhouse gas emissions reduction strategies. This bill calls on the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) to identify cost-effective ways to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Commonly known as the "no regrets" approach, this bill seeks to realize the economic benefits, cost savings to businesses and consumers, and environmental benefits of identifying and prioritizing no-cost and cost saving greenhouse gas reduction strategies first.
SB 184 requires TCEQ to develop and present a report to the legislature by December 31, 2010, that outlines strategies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions that, over the lifetime of the strategy, will result in no financial cost to businesses and consumers of the state.
SB 870 by Lucio/Castro- Relating to the duties of the interagency obesity council and the Department of Agriculture relating to health, wellness, and prevention of obesity and to the establishment of an obesity prevention pilot program. SB 870 relates to the duties of the Interagency Obesity Council and the Department of Agriculture (TDA) relating to health, wellness, and prevention of obesity. The bill would require the council to create an evidence-based public health awareness plan. The bill also requires the Health and Human Services Commission (HHSC) and the Department of State Health Services (DSHS) to establish an obesity prevention pilot program for a period of at least 24 months in one or more health care service regions.
SB 876 by Averitt/Dunnam- Relating to the performance of annual soil tests for certain concentrated animal feeding operations by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality. SB 876 will require the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) to perform annual soil sampling at concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs) in a major sole source impairment zone (parts of the North Bosque Watershed).The bill would allow the TCEQ to have the sampling performed under contract.
SB 958 by Hegar/Heflin- Relating to an exemption from the sales and use tax for certain aircraft, including machinery and equipment used in an agricultural aircraft operation. SB 958 exempts agricultural aircraft operations from sales and use taxes on machinery and equipment used to dispense substances intended for plant nourishment, soil treatment, propagation of plant life, or pest control; or engaged in dispensing activities directly affecting agriculture, horticulture, or forest preservation, but not including the dispensing of live insects.
SB 1016 by Estes/Flynn - Relating to the continuation and functions of the Department of Agriculture and the Prescribed Burning Board, the creation of the Texas Bioenergy Policy Council and Texas Bioenergy Research Committee, and the abolition of the Texas-Israel Exchange Fund Board; providing penalties. The Texas Department of Agriculture, Prescribed Burning Board, and Texas-Israel Exchange Fund Board are subject to the Sunset Act and would have been abolished on September 1, 2009 unless continued by the Legislature. The bill contains the Sunset Commission's recommendations to continue the Department for the standard 12-year period; continue the Prescribed Burning Board, but remove its separate Sunset date so that it will be reviewed along with the Department in the future; and abolish the Texas-Israel Exchange Fund Board, but allow the Department to seek funding for bi-national agricultural research as it sees fit. The Sunset Commission also found opportunities to redirect several of TDA's programs to ensure they meet the needs of today's agriculture industry and the state as a whole.
SB 1163 by Seliger/Kolkhorst- Relating to the penalties for theft of cattle, horses, exotic livestock, exotic fowl, sheep, swine, or goats. SB 1163 makes the theft of cattle, horses, exotic livestock or fowl, sheep, swine, or goats a state jail felony if the stolen property is less than 10 head of sheep, swine, or goats or any part thereof under the value of $20,000, and a felony of the third degree if the property stolen is cattle, horses, or exotic livestock stolen during a single transaction and having an aggregate value of less than $100,000 or 10 or more head of sheep, swine, or goats stolen during a single transaction and having an aggregate value of less than $100,000.
SB 1693 by Ogden/Cook- Relating to the regulation of poultry facilities and poultry litter by the State Soil and Water Conservation Board and to the enforcement authority of the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality. SB 1693 amends current law to address issues related to poultry facility odors, response to complaints, air contaminant prevention measures and the record of sale, purchase, transfer or application of poultry. This bill also adds a course of action for responding to poultry odor complaints, as well as improving upon record retention for the sale, purchase or transfer of poultry litter.
SB 2534 by Wentworth/Corte- Relating to the creation of an interagency task force on economic growth and endangered species; providing information and direction regarding endangered species issues in certain areas of the state. The bill would amend the Government Code and create a task force on economic development and endangered species and require that the Comptroller's Office provide administrative support. The Texas A&M University System would also be required to assist in the analysis of any biological and economic impacts.