Legislative Recap Pt 2

Legislative Recap Pt 2

Bob Larson
Bob Larson
From the Ag Information Network, I’m Bob Larson. There were many serious agricultural matters on the table during the last legislative session, but not much progress was made … good or bad.

Jon DeVaney, President of the Washington State Tree Fruit Association, says ag is supposed to be exempt from the new Climate Commitment Act “tax” but nothing happened to make that a reality …

DeVANEY … “But there was a lot of circular finger pointing around how exactly that should work. And as a result, a lot of agricultural producers were seeing fuel invoices with the carbon surcharges to fund those auctions added on. No mechanism for either being exempted or getting reimbursed for those costs.”

So, what now? …

DeVANEY … “So now we’re pivoting to having conversations with Ecology at a fairly high level on how they can gets some clarity to those fuel suppliers so that agricultural producers can be exempt as the law currently tells them they should be.”

DeVaney says they need to get it sorted out pretty quickly.

But on the other hand, the Buffer Bill had some movement …

DeVANEY … “There was a lot of discussion around how mandatory riparian buffer conservation measures should be and our point, well the ag community in general’s point was that there are producers who are interested in doing additional conservation measures in some cases on a voluntary basis.”

DeVaney says the legislature did not get to any kind of agreement on a permanent program though some conservation funds were added to the budget, which is significant.

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