Legislature(2009 - 2010)BARNES 124

03/23/2009 01:00 PM House RESOURCES

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* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
<Bill Hearing Canceled>
+ Bills Previously Heard/Scheduled TELECONFERENCED
Moved CSHB 70(RES) Out of Committee
Moved Out of Committee
HB  70-ALASKA GROWN AGRICULTURAL PRODUCTS                                                                                     
1:07:36 PM                                                                                                                    
CO-CHAIR  JOHNSON  announced that  the  first  order of  business                                                               
would be  HOUSE BILL  NO. 70, "An  Act establishing  the farm-to-                                                               
school  program  in  the Department  of  Natural  Resources,  the                                                               
Alaska  grown fresh  fruit  and vegetable  grant  program in  the                                                               
Department  of  Education  and Early  Development,  the  farmers'                                                               
market technology improvement pilot  program in the Department of                                                               
Environmental Conservation,  and the farmers to  food banks pilot                                                               
program in  the Department of  Commerce, Community,  and Economic                                                               
CO-CHAIR  JOHNSON   closed  public  testimony  on   HB  70  after                                                               
ascertaining that no one wished to testify.                                                                                     
1:09:36 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  CARL GATTO,  Alaska  State Legislature,  sponsor,                                                               
stated that HB 70  is a way to get Alaska  farm products into the                                                               
classroom and enable schools to have  small plots of ground or an                                                               
entire farm where students can ally with local farmers.                                                                         
SANDRA  WILSON, Staff,  Representative Carl  Gatto, Alaska  State                                                               
Legislature, said the proposed  committee substitute, version 26-                                                               
LS0284\R,  Bannister,  2/12/09,  adopted  as the  work  draft  on                                                               
3/18/09, changes  the original  bill by  removing Sections  4, 6,                                                               
and 7.   Section 6 was  removed at the request  of the Department                                                               
of Health  & Social  Services because  the department  is already                                                               
working internally  on the directives  that were  included there.                                                               
Sections  4 and  7 were  removed  because they  are not  fiscally                                                               
responsible to do right now.                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  GATTO added  that Version  R essentially  takes a                                                               
lot of the money out of the bill.                                                                                               
CO-CHAIR JOHNSON stated  that taking a lot of money  out of HB 70                                                               
was important.  The House  Resources Standing Committee will deal                                                               
with the policy aspects of the  bill, he continued, and the House                                                               
Finance Committee can deal with the financial decisions.                                                                        
1:11:32 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE GUTTENBERG asked  what Sections 4, 6,  and 7 would                                                               
have done.                                                                                                                      
CO-CHAIR JOHNSON reminded  members that Version R  was adopted at                                                               
the previous hearing and is before the committee.                                                                               
MS.  WILSON replied  that Section  4 was  the Alaska  grown fresh                                                               
fruit and vegetables  grant program, a program  aimed more toward                                                               
low  income, farmers'  markets, and  food banks.   Section  6 was                                                               
related to  allowing food  stamps at  farmers' markets,  which is                                                               
the program  that the Department  of Health & Social  Services is                                                               
already working on internally.   Section 7 was related to getting                                                               
fresh fruits, vegetables,  and home grown products  into the food                                                               
banks through a pilot program.                                                                                                  
1:12:59 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  GUTTENBERG   inquired  whether  the   program  at                                                               
Calypso  Farm  &  Ecology  Center,  located  near  Fairbanks,  is                                                               
already doing what HB 70 would do.                                                                                              
FRANCI  HAVEMEISTER,   Director,  Central  Office,   Division  of                                                               
Agriculture, Department  of Natural Resources, said  young people                                                               
do work  within Calypso Farm  and some of  the food does  go back                                                               
into the  school program.   She understood,  however, that  HB 70                                                               
would oversee  the entire state and  not just one community.   In                                                               
further response,  she agreed that  Calypso Farm's  gardening and                                                               
farming  program  is  done  at  three  or  four  schools  in  the                                                               
Fairbanks area.   The farm also  hires youth to come  in and work                                                               
the program for six week slots, she added.                                                                                      
REPRESENTATIVE  GUTTENBERG asked  whether  HB  70 would  preclude                                                               
Calypso  Farm from  the program  or create  another state  agency                                                               
that is doing what the farm is doing.                                                                                           
MS. HAVEMEISTER said she does not  know.  The program under HB 70                                                               
does not talk  about hiring youth to come in  and work during the                                                               
summer, it  only puts  agriculture into the  classroom as  far as                                                               
education  and possibly  summer gardens.   However,  she allowed,                                                               
there is a possibility of an overlap.                                                                                           
1:14:54 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE   SEATON   inquired   whether  adding   the   word                                                               
greenhouse after  garden throughout the bill  would be beneficial                                                               
to the sponsor.                                                                                                                 
REPRESENTATIVE GATTO  agreed that  this is  a great  idea because                                                               
the omission was an oversight.                                                                                                  
REPRESENTATIVE SEATON  said schools in this  program would likely                                                               
have a greenhouse, so he wants  to ensure there is no distinction                                                               
between having the farm in a garden or a greenhouse.                                                                            
CO-CHAIR  JOHNSON interjected  that this  would also  address the                                                               
concerns of some of the students who testified.                                                                                 
REPRESENTATIVE GATTO added that some  things can only be grown in                                                               
greenhouses  and those  would  be  excluded if  the  bill is  not                                                               
amended as is being suggested by Representative Seaton.                                                                         
REPRESENTATIVE SEATON  asked whether adding greenhouses  to HB 70                                                               
would create any problems for the Division of Agriculture.                                                                      
MS. HAVEMEISTER answered no.                                                                                                    
1:17:02 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  GUTTENBERG inquired  whether  anything  in HB  70                                                               
would prevent Calypso  Farm or any other farm  entity from taking                                                               
a  grant and  becoming the  agent to  administer this  program in                                                               
Fairbanks or other communities.                                                                                                 
MS. HAVEMEISTER  replied there  is nothing she  is aware  of, but                                                               
there is  no fiscal note in  HB 70 for pass-through  grants, so a                                                               
fiscal note would have to be addressed somewhere.                                                                               
REPRESENTATIVE  SEATON  referenced  page 6,  lines  11-13,  which                                                               
state  that  the   school  garden  or  farm  must   be  used  for                                                               
educational purposes and  growing produce that will  be served in                                                               
the school district's meal program.   He asked whether any excess                                                               
produce could  be sold if  the revenues  are used to  support the                                                               
program and make it more self sufficient.                                                                                       
REPRESENTATIVE GATTO said he thinks  turning any revenues back to                                                               
the state would be applauded by most people.                                                                                    
MS. HAVEMEISTER agreed that it would be a possibility.                                                                          
CO-CHAIR  JOHNSON  cautioned  against the  schools  getting  into                                                               
competition  with private  growers  and urged  that any  revenues                                                               
only go toward supporting the program.                                                                                          
1:20:06 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE SEATON  moved that the committee  adopt Conceptual                                                               
Amendment 1 as follows:                                                                                                         
     Page 6, line 10, following "gardens":                                                                                      
          Insert ", greenhouses"                                                                                                
     Page 6, line 11, following "school garden":                                                                                
          Insert ", greenhouse"                                                                                                 
     Page 6, line 11, following "The garden":                                                                                   
          Insert ", greenhouse"                                                                                                 
     Page 6, line 14, following "garden":                                                                                       
          Insert ", greenhouse"                                                                                                 
     Page 6, line 17, following "garden":                                                                                       
          Insert ", greenhouse"                                                                                                 
     Page 6, line 20":                                                                                                          
          Insert a new subsection to read:                                                                                      
       "(d) When a school garden, greenhouse, or farm is                                                                        
      used the excess fruits or vegetables may be sold, if                                                                      
     the revenues are used to support the program."                                                                             
REPRESENTATIVE WILSON objected.                                                                                                 
CO-CHAIR JOHNSON objected for discussion purposes.                                                                              
REPRESENTATIVE  SEATON reiterated  that he  wants to  ensure this                                                               
applies  to school  farms  and gardens  as  well as  greenhouses.                                                               
Therefore, greenhouse  or greenhouses needs  to be inserted  in a                                                               
number of places in the bill,  and probably in the title as well,                                                               
which  is  why  the  amendment  is  conceptual.    Regarding  the                                                               
proposed addition  of subsection  (d), he said  he does  not want                                                               
this to compete  with raising money for  other school activities,                                                               
so this  directs that any  revenues must  go back to  support the                                                               
program, which will help to make the program more sustainable.                                                                  
REPRESENTATIVE   WILSON  removed   her   objection.     [Co-Chair                                                               
Johnson's  objection was  treated at  removed.]   There being  no                                                               
further objections, Conceptual Amendment 1 was passed.                                                                          
1:22:33 PM                                                                                                                    
CO-CHAIR JOHNSON returned discussion to the bill.                                                                               
REPRESENTATIVE  GUTTENBERG  remarked   that  encouraging  student                                                               
understanding of where produce comes  from is exactly what should                                                               
be done.   He  said he  thinks farmers  are more  concerned about                                                               
economy of scale and developing  a larger market than competition                                                               
from a school program.  He offered his support for HB 70.                                                                       
REPRESENTATIVE  SEATON moved  to report  the work  draft, labeled                                                               
26-LS0284\R,  Bannister, 2/12/09,  as amended,  out of  committee                                                               
with  individual recommendations  and  forthcoming fiscal  notes.                                                               
There being  no objections,  CSHB 70(RES)  was reported  from the                                                               
House Resources Standing Committee.                                                                                             

Document Name Date/Time Subjects
HB 70 amendment 1.pdf HRES 3/23/2009 1:00:00 PM
HB 70