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Relating to the continuation and functions of the Department of Agriculture, the Prescribed Burning Board, and the Texas Boll Weevil Eradication Foundation and the abolishment of the Early Childhood Health and Nutrition Interagency Council.
No significant fiscal implication to the State is anticipated.
SB 703 would continue the functions of the Texas Department of Agriculture (TDA) and schedule the agency for Sunset review again in September 2033. This bill would require the establishment and administration of a "Go Texan" program by the department to promote and encourage the development and expansion of products made in Texas. This bill would authorize the TDA to create an advisory committee to make recommendations on policies and programs. Additionally, the TDA would be required to establish a system to quickly respond to complaints and create an inspection and enforcement strategic plan to ensure public safety and protect agriculture and consumers.
This bill would also require the commissioner to create a budget and prioritize a spending plan for expenditures of the wine industry development fund.
Additionally, SB 703 would extend the Texas Boll Weevil Eradication Program and abolish the Early Childhood Health and Nutrition Interagency Council which voluntarily disbanded in 2018 and also repeals many sections of code pertaining to advisory committees.
This bill would require the Cotton Growers' Boll Weevil Eradication Foundation to create a system to promptly respond to complaints.
This bill would eliminate an aquaculture license but continue to regulate various aspects of aquaculture. This bill would also allow the Texas Parks and Wildlife department to issue a permit for the taking of fish brood stock.
Texas Action remains neutral on SB 703. The TDA is a core state agency so continuing its functions does not infringe on our liberty principles. We are skeptical of the necessity of statutorily creating a Go Texan program, considering TDA already runs such a program.