HOUSE COMMITTEE ON

AGRICULTURE AND NATURAL RESOURCES

 

 

February 7, 2005   Hearing Room C

9:00 A.M. Tapes  14 - 15

Corrected 9/26/2005)

MEMBERS PRESENT:            Rep. Patti Smith, Chair

Rep. Brian Boquist, Vice-Chair

Rep. Arnie Roblan, Vice-Chair

Rep. Terry Beyer

Rep. Mark Hass

Rep. Mac Sumner

 

MEMBER EXCUSED:            Rep. Chuck Burley

 

STAFF PRESENT:                  Patrick Brennan, Committee Administrator

Jania Zeeb, Committee Assistant

 

MEASURES/ISSUES HEARD:

Food Safety Program Fee Restructuring – Informational Meeting

 

 

These minutes are in compliance with Senate and House Rules.  Only text enclosed in quotation marks reports a speaker’s exact words.  For complete contents, please refer to the tapes.

 

TAPE/#

Speaker

Comments

TAPE 14, A

003

Chair Smith

Calls the meeting to order at 9:02 a.m. and opens the informational meeting on food safety program fee restructuring. 

FOOD SAFETY PROGRAM FEE RESTRUCTURING - INFORMATIONAL MEETING

014

Katy Coba

Director, Oregon Department of Agriculture (ODA).  Introduces Ron McKay, ODA Food Safety Division Administrator.  Discusses the history of the food safety program. 

042

Coba

States that the number of foodborne outbreaks has increased and gives four reasons for concerns.

058

Coba

Details ODA’s response to the problem of foodborne illnesses.

063

Coba

States how the department is trying to lower program cost and the effect of that on the agency’s ability to do its job. 

081

Coba

Discusses the funding mechanism for the food safety program.  States that the program needs either an increased allocation from the General Fund or to increase fees.  Comments that the department prefers to raise the fee cap.

100

Coba

Identifies that a second option would be a fee restructure and an infusion of general fund into the program.  Acknowledges that timing is important because notification needs to be out by March 1st to have the changes take effect in May 2005.  Details the consequences of not acting.

118

Rep. Boquist

Inquires what the Governor is proposing for the fee.

122

Coba

Defers the question to the next speaker. 

160

Joe Gilliam

President, Oregon Grocers Association.  Submits and presents written testimony on the Overview of the ODA Food Safety Program Fee Structure (EXHIBIT A).

178

Gilliam

States that it is unusual for the association ask for an increase, but it is important for this program to continue and fees need to be raise to help fund the program. 

194

Gilliam

Expands on what the proposal would accomplish (EXHIBIT A).

219

Gilliam

Submits and presents informational graphs on ODA Food Safety Fee Comparison.  Expands on the graph (EXHIBIT B, Page 1).

286

Gilliam

Expands on the chart (EXHIBIT B, Page 2).

316

Gilliam

Explains the chart (EXHIBIT B, Page 4).

354

Gilliam

Discusses the chart (EXHIBIT B, Page 11).

401

Rep. Beyer

Inquires why the general fund should pay so much more than the amount Governor Kulongoski proposed in his budget. 

411

Gilliam

Explains that in the past, the department and the industry shared the cost evenly, but since the recession hit industry has borne more of the burden. 

TAPE 15, A

019

Rep. Beyer

Inquires what the General Fund contribution has been for the program.

020

Gilliam

Responds that it was originally approved for $1.8 million and then reduced to $428,000 during the special sessions in 2002.

034

Rep. Sumner

Asks for an explanation of what the net result would be to the public if the industry paid for all the fees.

037

Gilliam

Answers that if the burden were shifted to the industry there would be an increase in retail costs. 

049

Rep. Sumner

Concludes that the consumer will ultimately pay the added fees.

052

Gilliam

Concurs with Rep. Sumner.

055

Rep. Boquist

Clarifies that the notification needs to be sent out by March, meaning that the legislature must act by then for the change to take effect.

066

Gilliam

Responds that the fee caps can be passed separately.  Notes that in order to meet the timeline for the billing, the cap must be passed first.

076

Rep. Boquist

Asks whether ODA could go back and do another fee change if the fee cap is passed, and the Governor’s budget does not include more than $1.8 million..

086

Gilliam

Discusses setting fees per category verses fee schedules based on revenues within each category. 

109

Rep. Boquist

Asks if there is legislative drafts to address the issue.

113

Gilliam

Answers that there is a bill, HB 2539, moving through the process.

117

Rep. Roblan

Inquires if the industry and department agree that 33 inspectors is sufficient to do the needed inspections.

121

Gilliam

Responds that ODA has done well with that number of inspectors.

138

Gilliam

States that several chapters of statute would be amended by the legislation.

143

Dave Nelson

Oregon Dairy Council.  Testifies in support of the proposal.  Discusses the importance of Tillamook Cheese and the consequence of not working on this to the dairy industry in Oregon. 

171

Nelson

Comments on the importance of exporting milk to other states. 

189

Nelson

Describes the potential negative impact of an insufficient food safety program.

193

Rep. Boquist

Asks Mr. Nelson to address the percentage of independent dairies that produce an end product verses others.   

203

Nelson

Explains how milk is priced.  Describes how the Tillamook County Creamery Association (TCCA) and other co-ops operate.

236

Joan Beck

Oregon Food Processors.  States that the approach is fair and equitable and that food processors are currently in the process of contacting their clients to make sure they agree with the proposal. 

250

Rep. Sumner

Comments on the quality of imported food.  States that ODA needs to do more work to remind consumers that it is difficult to know where things are coming from or whether they are completely safe.  Suggests that ODA help educate consumers. 

293

Rep. Boquist

Closes the informational meeting on the Food Safety Program Fee Restructuring and adjourns the meeting at 9:51 a.m.

 

 

EXHIBIT SUMMARY

 

  1. Food Safety Program Fee Structure Overview, written testimony, Joe Gilliam, 1 p
  2. Food Safety Program Fee Structure, informational graphs, Joe Gilliam, 13 pp