Mathis One Step Closer to Keeping Dairy Industry Funded in California.

RE: AB 590 (Mathis): Milk

Dear Governor Newsom:

I request that you sign into law AB 590, authored by Assembly Members Mathis and Eggman.

AB 590 will amend the Food and Agricultural Code to conform provisions related to Dairy Council of California (council) and the Milk Producer Security Trust Fund (Fund) to the recent adoption of the California Federal Milk Marketing Order (FMMO).

With the enactment of the FMMO, authorizing statutes for these two programs require amendments to allow them to continue to operate. In the case of the Council, the mechanism used to collect and disburse farmer and processor assessments in support of the Council’s activities was tied to the now-defunct Department of Food and Agriculture’s (CDFA) Milk Marketing and Stabilization Program. AB 590 provides specific authority for collection and disbursement of these assessments under the administration of CDFA.

Enactment of the FFMO also removes the mechanism for replenishment of the Fund should there be a processor payment default. AB 590 amends the authorizing language to provide for direct assessment of milk processors to bring the Fund back to its required level. This bill gives CDFA limited flexibility in the administrative fee structure to cover the cost of the operating the Fund. All Fund activities are overseen by a stakeholder advisory board appointed by the Secretary of CDFA.

AB 590 represents an industry-wide effort to provide a smooth transition to the California FMMO, which was approved by our state’s dairy farmers in June 2018, and which took effect November 1, 2018.

Again, I would ask that you sign this bill into law. Thank you for your consideration of this request.

Sincerely,

Devon Mathis, Vice Chair

Assembly Committee on Agriculture