August 06, 2020
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HB 981

A bill to be entitled
2An act relating to citrus fruit; amending s. 573.112,
3F.S.; providing that the Citrus Research and Development
4Foundation shall provide advice to the Department of
5Agriculture and Consumer Services with respect to citrus
6research marketing orders, conduct citrus research, and
7perform other duties assigned by the department; amending
8s. 573.118, F.S.; providing for the deposit of certain
9agricultural assessments; revising the assessment rate on
10citrus fruit; amending s. 581.031, F.S.; expanding the
11type of research projects that may be conducted by the
12department; providing an effective date.
14Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida:
16     Section 1.  Subsection (7) is added to section 573.112,
17Florida Statutes, to read:
18     573.112  Advisory council.-
19     (7)  Notwithstanding any provision of this section, the
20Citrus Research and Development Foundation, Inc., a direct-
21support organization of the University of Florida established
22pursuant to s. 1004.28, shall serve as the advisory council for
23a citrus research marketing order, provide the department with
24advice on administering the order, and, in accordance with the
25order, conduct citrus research and perform other duties assigned
26by the department. Notwithstanding s. 1004.28(3), the
27foundation's board of directors shall be composed of 13 members,
28including 10 citrus growers, 2 representatives of the
29university's Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, and 1
30member appointed by the Commissioner of Agriculture.
31     Section 2.  Subsections (1) and (6) of section 573.118,
32Florida Statutes, are amended to read:
33     573.118  Assessment; funds; audit; loans.-
34     (1)  To provide funds to defray the necessary expenses
35incurred by the department in the formulation, issuance,
36administration, and enforcement of any marketing order, every
37person engaged in the production, distributing, or handling of
38agricultural commodities within this state, and directly
39affected by any marketing order, shall pay to the department, at
40such times and in such installments as the department may
41prescribe, such person's pro rata share of necessary expenses.
42Each person's share of expenses shall be that proportion which
43the total volume of agricultural commodities produced,
44distributed, or handled by the person during the current
45marketing season, or part thereof covered by such marketing
46order, is of the total volume of the commodities produced,
47distributed, or handled by all such persons during the same
48current marketing season or part thereof. The department, after
49receiving the recommendations of the advisory council, shall fix
50the rate of assessment on the volume of agricultural commodities
51sold or some other equitable basis. For convenience of
52collection, upon request of the department, handlers of the
53commodities shall pay any producer assessments. Handlers paying
54assessments for and on behalf of any producers may shall, at
55their discretion, collect the producer assessments from any
56moneys owed by the handlers to the producers. The collected
57assessments shall be deposited into the appropriate General
58Inspection trust fund and shall be used for the sole purpose of
59implementing the marketing order for which the assessment was
60collected. The department is not subject to the procedures found
61in s. 287.057 in the expenditure of these funds. However, the
62director of the Division of Marketing and Development shall file
63with the internal auditor of the department a certification of
64conditions and circumstances justifying each contract or
65agreement entered into without competitive bidding.
66     (6)  An Any assessment levied upon citrus fruit under this
67section may not exceed the rate established in the marketing
68order and shall be at a rate not to exceed 1 cent per standard-
69packed box of citrus fruit grown and placed into the primary
70channel of trade in this state. All revenues from such
71assessment collected by the department shall be deposited into
72the Citrus Inspection Trust Fund.
73     Section 3.  Subsection (32) of section 581.031, Florida
74Statutes, is amended to read:
75     581.031  Department; powers and duties.-The department has
76the following powers and duties:
77     (32)  To The Department of Agriculture and Consumer
78Services shall conduct or cause to be conducted those research
79projects on citrus diseases, including, but not limited to,
80citrus canker and citrus greening, which are recommended by the
81Florida Citrus Production Research Advisory Council, within the
82limits of appropriations made specifically for such purpose.
83     Section 4.  This act shall take effect July 1, 2010.

CODING: Words stricken are deletions; words underlined are additions.
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