House Committee on Agriculture and Livestock - 86th R.S. (2019)
Monitor the agencies and programs under the Committee's jurisdiction and oversee the implementation of relevant legislation passed by the 86th Legislature. Conduct active oversight of all associated rulemaking and other governmental actions taken to ensureintended legislative outcome of all legislation, including the following:
- HB 1325 86th R.S. which relates to the production of hemp. Monitor the Texas Department of Agriculture's (TDA) rules regulating the farming and cultivation of industrial hemp production and sale, including proper permitting, standardized sampling and testing procedures, and tracking appropriate data to promote the hemp program in Texas. Examine the process by which state agencies collaborate, plan, and implement the State Hemp Production Plan with emphasis on farming, cultivation, possession, retail sales, and consumables.
- HB 3070 86th R.S., which relates to grants for volunteer fire departments. Monitor the process by which the Texas A&M Forest Service will grant funding to rural volunteer fire departments for emergency assistance and repairing or replacing damaged equipment after a natural disaster.
- Evaluate the TDA's current preventative management practices concerning crop diseases and plant pests that negatively impact the financial security of farmers in this state. Make recommendations on how TDA can educate farmers, agricultural producers, and communities that sustain agriculture about crop disease and plant pest prevention to further mitigate loss of profits.
- Study the potential drift effects of both air and ground pesticide application on crops and produce outside the areas of intended application, including spray drifts and runoff fromplants and soil. Evaluate the impact on quality, production, and market value of the affected crops, as well as the cost of false claims of drift on producers.
- Study the Texas A&M AgriLife Research's Texas Apiary Inspection Service (TAIS) by conducting inspections of commercial operations and issuing permits for the movement of hives within the state and across state lines. Evaluate the benefits and problems of eliminating the intrastate movement permit, including the potential effects on the list of bee removal experts maintained by TAIS.
- Monitor the status of the operation, maintenance, and structural repairs of low hazard and high hazard dams throughout the state, as well as implementation of funds appropriated to the Texas State Soil and Water Conservation Board's Flood Control Program during the 86th Legislature.(Joint charge with the House Committee on Appropriations)
- Study the effects on traditional agriculture when labeling food products in this state, particularly when using terms to describe products from animals, products produced in labs, and other products meant to mimic or imitate animal products. Study the effects on traditional dairy agriculture when labeling food products in the state or products not originating from a domesticated animal. Study the effects on traditional agriculture when labeling any produce or byproducts of produce in the state.
- Monitor the State Auditor's review of agencies and programs under the Committee's jurisdiction. The Chair shall seek input and periodic briefings on completed audits for the 2019 and 2020 fiscal years and bring forth pertinent issues for full committee consideration.
Art Fierro appointed 2/12/2019.
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