HBA-JRA H.B. 2 76(R)BILL ANALYSIS Office of House Bill AnalysisH.B. 2 By: Swinford Agriculture & Livestock 6/24/1999 Enrolled BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE Agriculture is a major component in Texas' economy, creating numerous job opportunities for Texans. Prior to the 76th Legislature, Texas lacked a consistent statewide policy addressing the agriculture industry, from production to processing, and ensuring the economic survival of agricultural industries and businesses. H.B. 2 sets forth legislative findings and a state agricultural policy and requires the legislature to conduct a comprehensive study of the condition of agriculture, the state's current programs in support of agriculture, and the role of the state in preserving the agriculture industry. RULEMAKING AUTHORITY It is the opinion of the Office of House Bill Analysis that this bill does not expressly delegate any additional rulemaking authority to a state officer, department, agency, or institution. SECTION BY SECTION ANALYSIS SECTION 1. Provides that this Act shall be known as the Agriculture and Rural Development Act of 1999. SECTION 2. Amends Title 1, Agriculture Code, by adding Chapter 2, as follows: CHAPTER 2. STATE AGRICULTURAL POLICY Sec. 2.001. DEFINITIONS. Defines "agriculture" in this chapter. Sec. 2.002. FINDINGS. Sets forth legislative findings. Sec. 2.003. POLICY. Provides that the agricultural policy of this state must consider and address: (1) water availability issues, including planning for water supplies and drought preparedness and response; (2) transportation issues, including the farm-to-market road system and intermodal transportation; (3) state regulatory issues; (4) state tax policy; (5) the availability of capital, including state loans or grants authorized by Section 52-a, Article III, Texas Constitution (Assistance to Encourage State Economic Development); (6) the promotion of Texas agricultural products, including development of domestic and foreign markets; (7) eradication or control of injurious pests and diseases that affect crops and livestock; (8) research and education efforts, including financial risk management and consumer education and education in the public schools; (9) promotion of efficient utilization of soil and water resources; (10) rural economic and infrastructure development; (11) protection of property rights and the right to farm; (12) preservation of farmland; (13) food safety; (14) efforts to participate in the formulation of federal programs and policies; (15) promotion of rural fire service; and (16) promotion of value-added agricultural enterprises. SECTION 3. Requires the legislature to conduct a comprehensive study of the condition of agriculture, the state's current programs in support of agriculture, and the role of the state in preserving the agriculture industry. Requires the study to be conducted in a manner determined by the lieutenant governor and the speaker of the house of representative, with the assistance of the Texas Department of Agriculture, the comptroller, the Texas Department of Economic Development, and other agencies and institutions of higher education as determined by the lieutenant governor and the speaker of the house of representatives. SECTION 4.Emergency clause. Effective date: upon passage.