Bill Summary for S 380 (2019-2020)

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Summary date: 

Aug 7 2019

Bill Information:

View NCGA Bill Details2019-2020 Session
Senate Bill 380 (Public) Filed Wednesday, March 27, 2019
Intro. by Wells, Hise, Daniel.

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Bill summary

Senate committee substitute to the 2nd edition makes the following changes. Deletes the content of the previous edition and replaces it with the following.

Amends GS 106-266.7 to reestablish the Milk Commission (Commission) of the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (was, of the Department of Commerce). Makes organizational and clarifying changes to the provisions governing the appointment of the ten Commission members. Requires that appointments made by the NCGA be in accordance with GS 120-121 (requiring that when the NCGA is called upon by law to appoint a member to any board or commission, that appointment must be made by enactment of a bill). Sets up staggered terms with five specified members appointed to terms ending on June 30 of odd-numbered years that follow by one year a year evenly divisible by four with the remaining members appointed to terms ending June 30 of odd-numbered years that precede by one year a year evenly divisible by four. Amends the procedure for removing members by requiring that the appointing authority for a member being removed initiate the appointment (was, removal was initiated by the person holding the office that originally made the appointment of such member). Makes conforming changes. Removes obsolete language. Requires the compensation of the Commission's administrator be determined by the Office of State Human Resources (was, set according to law). Allows meeting notices to be provided by email or first-class mail. 

Amends the Commission's powers under GS 106-266.8 as follows. Adds investigating all matters pertaining to the transportation of milk for consumption in this state. Adds supervising and regulating the production of milk for consumption in the state and limits the supervision and regulation of the transportation, processing, storage, distribution, delivery and sale of milk for consumption in this state. Removes references to the adoption and enforcement of regulations. Requires that rules and orders be available on the Commissions website (was, be posted in the main office of the Commission). No longer requires that a certified copy of all general administrative rules and regulations or rules of practice and procedure be filed as required by GS Chapter 150B and a certified copy be mailed to all licensed distributors and associations of producers in the state. Requires the Commission to provide adopted rules concerning fixed prices to the Codifier of Rules (was, file any rule with the Director of the Office of Administrative Hearings) within two working days of its adoption. Allows the Commission to also set the maximum retail prices to be charged for milk in any market areas by any person subject to the statute, after investigation and public hearing and making the necessary finding.  Adds that the Commission does not have the authority to establish a minimum retail price for milk, except upon determining, after a public hearing, that the absence of a minimum retail price has caused or is about to cause a disruption in the North Carolina milk market or some segment of the market that is likely to depress the producer price or has caused or is likely to cause a substantial reduction in competition between processor-distributors in an area, so as to adversely affect the public health and welfare that requires an adequate supply of milk at reasonable and fair prices. Allows the Commission to issue emergency rules to establish minimum retail prices before public hearing. Sets out additional requirements for the minimum retail price. Requires the Commission to prepare and adopt a system of accounting designed to show, for each distributor of milk and milk products, under the Commissions supervision, the total purchases by any distributor of each grade or class of milk, the total sales by each distributor and the resulting revenue, for each grade of class of milk and the quantity thereof. Requires that the system show total purchases as well as the total sales and the respective classes or grades of milk sold. Requires distributors of milk and milk products under the Commission's supervision to use the accounting system. Makes it unlawful for any distributor to pay for milk upon any such basis of grade or class lower than that upon which such milk is sold or used by the distributor. Makes it unlawful for any distributor to fail to use the prescribed accounting system or to refuse to allow the system to be inspected or audited. Requires that fines from penalties be paid to the State Treasurer and placed in the Civil Fines and Forfeitures Fund (was, for disposition in the same manner as assessments). 

Amends GS 106-266.9 by making language gender-neutral.

Amends GS 106-266.11 to require the Commission to collect money required for the annual budget from the licensed distributors in markets where the provisions of the Article are in operation (was, from the distribution through a monthly assessment). Requires that the Commission's expenses be met by an assessment in the specified amounts on milk and cream with the amounts varying based on whether it is handled by distributors or sold by producers. Sets out further requirements for the payment of the assessments. Requires Commission officers and employees who handle Commission funds or who sign or countersign checks to severally give bond in the amounts and with the sureties determined by the Commission. The costs of the bonds is to be paid by the Commission. 

Amends GS 106-266.12 as follows. Instead of placing receipts from assessments in the Milk Commission Account, establishes the Milk Commission Fund. Provides that revenue in the fund does not revert at the end of the fiscal year, and interest and other investment income earned by the fund accrues to the fund.  

Amends GS 106-266.15 to refer to a Commission order to set (was, fix) milk price.

Amends GS 106-266.17 to provide that no provisions of this Article are in conflict with the duty imposed upon the Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services under GS 130A-5 to make sanitary and health inquiries and investigations. Makes conforming changes by referring to setting (was, fixing) prices. 

Make additional technical and clarifying changes. 

Provides that the specified five Commission members are to serve initial terms expiring June 30, 2021, and thereafter those seats are to be filled in the manner described in statute. The remaining Commission members are to be appointed to initial terms expiring on June 30, 2023, and thereafter those seats are to be filled in the manner described in statute. 

Allows the Commission re-created by this act to adopt emergency rules to carry out its powers and duties for which the adoption of rules would otherwise be required under Article 2A of GS Chapter 150B. 

Makes conforming changes to the act's titles.