State of the States

  • On January 26, 2017

The state legislative sessions are up and running at full speed. As expected, we see legislation addressing pollinators, GMOs, and noxious weeds, among other issues. We are tracking about 50 bills at this time.

ASTA is supporting several bills that would preempt local municipalities’ ability to  pass seed-related rules that are more stringent than state law. This preemption currently exists in 26 states. A Washington state bill, created with ASTA’s assistance and supported by the state’s seed community, would change the state arbitration law to mediation. Another ASTA-supported bill in Washington would require government agencies to test seed for germ and purity prior to purchase by state agencies.

For regular updates on these and other state issues, join the State Governmental Affairs Working Group!

Finally, congratulations to the Arkansas Agriculture Department State Plant Board on its 100th anniversary! At last week’s Arkansas Seed Dealers Association convention, State Seed Control Official Mary Smith gave a very interesting presentation on the changes at the department over the years.