IDFA Opposes Kentucky's Efforts to Establish State-Level Milk Pricing System
State legislators in Kentucky recently introduced a bill that would establish a commission to recommend a new regulatory system for setting state milk prices. IDFA opposes the proposed legislation, saying in-state producers and processors already participating in the federal order system would be forced to pay higher prices than their out-of-state competitors. Last week, IDFA urged Senate committee members who are considering the bill to reject it and encouraged IDFA members in Kentucky to contact their legislators.
The proposed legislation (H.B. 623/S.B. 184) calls for establishing a 10-person commission, comprised of producers, processors and retailers, that would recommend a new pricing system and "assessment mechanism" to the governor for consideration. Once approved, however, these recommendations still would need to be adopted either as legislation or state regulations before becoming effective.
The bill passed the Kentucky House in February and now rests with the state's Senate Agriculture and Natural Resources Committee. In a letter to Committee Chairman Tom Jensen last week, IDFA stressed the divisive nature of the bill and urged committee members to consider alternative methods for preserving the state's dairy industry.
"Efforts by individual states to regulate farm prices pit the milk producing and processing sectors against one another, instead of serving to better the dairy industry as a whole," the letter states.
IDFA also expressed concern that the commission would have access to and could potentially share proprietary business information gathered during its review. In addition, the bill would add unnecessary and burdensome record-keeping requirements.
To read the letter, click here.
IDFA will continue to oppose the legislation and encourages local members to contact their state senators to express their opposition.
For more information, contact Jerry Slominski, IDFA senior vice president, at firstname.lastname@example.org or 202-220-3512.
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Posted March 24, 2008