State of the States: Seed Related Bills Pending, while Budgets Take Center Stage

  • On April 3, 2019

While some “hot spots” remain, state legislative activity has generally slowed for the current time while legislatures address budget issues. Of relevance to the seed industry, there is quite a bit of legislation to change regulations for pesticides and seed treatments. Those bills are getting a lot of attention in the agriculture community, and will continue to be a priority for ASTA’s State Affairs Working Group.

In addition to the usual seed-related legislation, states like Alabama and Colorado have introduced unique legislation that would impact our industry. Alabama Senate Bill 103 attempts to authorize the storage, selling, and dispensing of agricultural products sold by weight through vending machines (including corn). Another, Colorado HB 19-1247, if passed, would direct the commissioner of agriculture to convene an advisory group to study the potential applications for block chain technology in agricultural operations and to report to the general assembly in 2020 with its findings and recommendations for legislation, if any.

Outside of the agriculture arena, and for a little humor, Texas HB 234 has passed the House and is on its way to the Senate. This bill would remove the ability of a local authority to be able to require a license, permit, or fee, for the occasional sale of lemonade or other nonalcoholic beverages from a stand on private property or in a public park by an individual younger than 18 years of age.

Hemp continues to be riding a tidal wave into the state legislatures. As of March 26, 379 bills have been filed in 49 states to establish some type of regulatory parameter around the crop, in anticipation of the approval of state plans by USDA.