Public Laws

124th Legislature

First Regular Session


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Chapter 213

H.P. 274 - L.D. 353

PART TTT

Sec. TTT-1. Cap on transfers for the dairy stabilization program and the Maine milk income loss contract in fiscal year 2008-09. Notwithstanding the Maine Revised Statutes, Title 7, section 3153-D, in fiscal year 2008-09, the administrator of the Maine Milk Pool may not certify any amount to be transferred from the General Fund for distributions under Title 7, sections 3153-B and 3153-C that would bring the total amount transferred in fiscal year 2008-09 above $11,811,000.

Notwithstanding Title 7, sections 3153-B and 3153-C, in fiscal year 2008-09, the administrator of the Maine Milk Pool may not distribute payments for dairy stabilization support and payments under the Maine milk income loss contract that in the aggregate exceed $11,811,000.

Sec. TTT-2. Cap on transfers for the dairy stabilization program in fiscal years 2009-10 and 2010-11. Notwithstanding the Maine Revised Statutes, Title 7, section 3153-D, in fiscal years 2009-10 and 2010-11, the administrator of the Maine Milk Pool may not certify any amount to be transferred from the General Fund for distributions under Title 7, section 3153-B that would bring the total amount transferred in fiscal years 2009-10 and 2010-11 above $13,349,600.

Notwithstanding Title 7, section 3153-B, in fiscal years 2009-10 and 2010-11, the administrator of the Maine Milk Pool may not distribute payments for dairy stabilization support that in the aggregate exceed $13,349,600.

Sec. TTT-3. Cap on transfers for the dairy stabilization program for milk produced in the first 5 months of fiscal year 2010. Notwithstanding the Maine Revised Statutes, Title 7, section 3153-D, the administrator of the Maine Milk Pool may not certify any amount in excess of $9,000,000 to be transferred from the General Fund for distributions under Title 7, section 3153-B on milk produced from July 1, 2009 to November 30, 2009.

Notwithstanding Title 7, section 3153-B, the administrator of the Maine Milk Pool may not distribute payments for dairy stabilization support that in the aggregate exceed $9,000,000 for milk produced from July 1, 2009 to November 30, 2009.

Sec. TTT-4. Conditional loss of payment under the dairy stabilization program for milk produced in December 2009. If the $9,000,000 cap established in section 3 is reached, notwithstanding the Maine Revised Statutes, Title 7, section 3153-D, the administrator of the Maine Milk Pool may not certify any amount to be transferred from the General Fund for distributions under Title 7, section 3153-B on milk produced in December 2009.

Notwithstanding Title 7, section 3153-B, the administrator of the Maine Milk Pool may not distribute payments for dairy stabilization support on milk produced in December 2009.

Sec. TTT-5. Administrator authorized to make monthly adjustments. During the period from January 1, 2010 to June 30, 2010, the administrator of the Maine Milk Pool shall monitor milk price projections and each month calculate the amounts to be paid out under the dairy stabilization program for the remaining months of the fiscal year based on these projections. The administrator may adjust the amount requested and the amount distributed in any month during this period based on the most recent projections and calculations. The administrator may reduce payments only if projections indicate that the total distributions under the stabilization program will exceed $13,349,600 in fiscal year 2009-10. The administrator may increase payments to compensate producers for payment reductions in previous months if projections indicate that the total distributions under the stabilization program will be less than $13,349,600 in fiscal year 2009-10. For any month in which an adjustment is made, the adjustments must be made by multiplying the target price for each tier by the same percent.

Sec. TTT-6. Suspension of payments under the Maine milk income loss contract. Notwithstanding the Maine Revised Statutes, Title 7, section 3153-D, in fiscal years 2009-10 and 2010-11, the administrator of the Maine Milk Pool may not certify any amount to be transferred from the General Fund for distributions under Title 7, section 3153-C.

Notwithstanding Title 7, section 3153-C, in fiscal years 2009-10 and 2010-11, the administrator of the Maine Milk Pool may not make any distributions under the Maine milk income loss contract.

Sec. TTT-7. Maine Milk Commission authorized to establish 4 tiers of production. Notwithstanding the Maine Revised Statutes, Title 7, section 3153-B, subsection 3 and Public Law 2007, chapter 240, Part OOO, the Maine Milk Commission may establish 4 tiers of production, each representing a range of annual production, and a target price for each tier.

Sec. TTT-8. Task Force on the Sustainability of the Dairy Industry in Maine established. The Task Force on the Sustainability of the Dairy Industry in Maine, referred to in this section as "the task force," is established to examine the current problems confronting the dairy industry and develop recommendations on how best to reduce the vulnerability of the dairy industry to economic forces within and outside the State.

1. Duties. As a starting point, the task force shall review the Final Report of the Recommendations of the Governor’s Task Force on the Sustainability of the Dairy Industry in Maine dated November 18, 2003 and the report of the ad hoc committee of dairy industry representatives assembled by Commissioner Bradstreet dated January 2007. The task force shall discuss the recommendations in the 2003 report, determine which recommendations have been implemented, evaluate the success of the recommendations implemented in meeting the goals stated in the 2003 report and decide if recommendations not implemented warrant further attention. The task force shall closely examine:

A. The impact and cost of the tiered dairy stabilization program in the Maine Revised Statutes, Title 7, section 3153-B, enacted by the 121st Legislature with an effective date of April 16, 2004;
B. Factors affecting the price of milk as it moves from the farm to the dairy processor to the retail seller; and
C. Other focus areas as determined by the task force at its early meetings.

2. Membership. The task force has 19 members appointed as follows. The President of the Senate shall appoint 2 members of the Senate, one of whom is a member of the minority party. The Speaker of the House shall appoint 2 members of the House, one of whom is a member of the minority party. These members serve at the pleasure of their respective appointers. The Governor shall appoint the following members, who serve at the pleasure of the Governor:

A. One milk producer from each of the 3 production tiers in the dairy stabilization program under the Maine Revised Statutes, Title 7, section 1353-B;
B. One dairy farmer designated by the Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association who produces milk for the organic market;
C. One person designated by Maine Dairy Industry Association;
D. Two representatives designated by the Agricultural Council of Maine who are not dairy farmers;
E. One representative from the University of Maine Cooperative Extension;
F. One representative from Farm Credit of Maine;
G. One person knowledgeable about farmland issues;
H. One person with experience helping farmers respond to changing circumstances;
I. One agricultural economist;
J. One milk processor;
K. One milk retailer; and
L. One feed dealer or supplier.

3. Chair. The Governor and the Commissioner of Agriculture, Food and Rural Resources shall designate the chair of the task force.

4. Meetings; termination. The task force shall meet as necessary to complete the assigned duties. All meetings are open to the public and held at locations determined by the task force. The task force shall disband upon completion of its duties or on November 27, 2009, whichever comes sooner.

5. Staffing and funding. The Department of Agriculture, Food and Rural Resources shall provide staff support to the task force from existing resources. The Commissioner of Agriculture, Food and Rural Resources may use contributions of money, services and supplies accepted under existing authority to support the work of the task force.

6. Compensation. Members do not receive compensation for their time, travel or other expenses unless funding is available to the Commissioner of Agriculture, Food and Rural Resources for reimbursing such expenses. Legislators do not receive legislative per diem.

7. Report. The task force shall submit its report to the Governor and the Joint Standing Committee on Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry no later than November 27, 2009. The report must include recommendations for long-term stability within the dairy industry and recommendations for immediate implementation as needed to preserve the State's farms and local milk supply.

Sec. TTT-9. Authority to submit legislation. The Joint Standing Committee on Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry may submit legislation pertaining to the State's dairy industry to the Second Regular Session of the 124th Legislature.

Office of the Revisor of Statutes
State House, Room 108
Augusta, ME 04333