Washington Ag December 9, 2005 State Senate Republicans this week unveiled their 2006 agriculture agenda they say addresses several important issues in ways that will help Washington farmers, growers and ranchers proper and expand the state's economy.
In a recent interview Senator Mark Schoesler, ranking Republican on the Senate Agriculture and Rural Economic Development Committee highlighted his top priority.
Schoesler: "I think the most pressing issue is getting the state portion of sales tax removed from dyed diesel. It is the one thing we can do to help producers in every area that really need help.'
Republican Senators also want to ease other tax burdens like the sales tax on farm equipment, provide incentives for farmers who produce renewable fuels, protect private property rights, rein in rising labor costs by freezing the escalation of Washington's minimum wage if the state's unemployment rate exceeds the national unemployment rate, develop water storage and promote conservation and efficient use of, and transfer of water. and support agricultural research.
Alice Parker of the Columbia Basin Development League says the group has no comment at this time on that study commissioned by American Rivers and released Wednesday. In that study two Texas A&M economists concluded Columbia Basin producers would be better off without an expansion of irrigation in the Basin.
I'm Bob Hoff.