S.B. 149 would create a seven-member Kansas Agricultural Seed Council. Members of the Council would be residents of the state and currently be active seedsmen. At least three of the members would be elected from the list of seed wholesalers registered with the Department of Agriculture and the remainder would be active seedsmen or representatives of seed product development, distribution, and production. The Director of the Agricultural Experiment Stations of Kansas State University and the Director of the Agricultural Products Development Division would serve as ex officio nonvoting members of the Council.
Along with other powers, the Council would conduct a campaign of seed industry development, through research education and information and would cooperate or contract with any local, state, or national organization or agency engaged in work or activities similar to the work of the Council. The bill also would give authority to the Council to appoint an administrator.
This bill was introduced at the request of a spokesperson for the Kansas Seed Industry Association. At the hearing on the bill, the spokesperson for the Kansas Seed Industry Association stated that the establishment of a council would allow their industry to better respond to the dynamic changes which are occurring within the seed industry. The spokesperson stated the bill would assist the Kansas seed industry in transitioning to the new technologies in agriculture and would provide a structure to allow the seed industry to partner with state and federal agencies and seed commissioners in other states on projects and to apply for grant funding. The spokesperson stated that it is expected that the assessments (under the original provisions of the bill) would generate $25,000 to $30,000 annually. Three other conferees associated with the Kansas Seed Industry Association testified in support of the bill. A spokesperson for Trio Research Inc. spoke in opposition to the bill. The conferee who spoke in opposition to the bill indicated that Kansas State University used various commissions and organizations to siphon off additional financial support, and that the proposed council could become another source of tax dollars for the University seed business especially if more tax dollars would hold back the growing influence of private research and development.
The fiscal note on the original bill states that the funds raised by the bill would not be deposited in the State Treasury but in a bank account established by the Council. As a result, the Division of Budget concluded that the bill would not create a new state agency. Thus, the bill would not have a fiscal impact on state revenues or expenditures.
The House Committee on Agriculture amended the bill to remove the provisions which: would have required assessments on wholesalers and retailers; would have required that the assessments be deposited in a bank and be expended in the administration of the provisions of the bill; and would have imposed certain penalties for violations of the provisions of the bill.
1. *Supplemental notes are prepared by the Legislative Research Department and do not express legislative intent. The supple-mental note and fiscal note for this bill may be accessed on the Internet at http://www.ink.org/public/legislative/fulltext-bill.html.