Law:Title 3. Agricultural Research And Promotion (Texas)

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Contents

Chapter 41. Commodity Producers Boards

Subchapter A. General Provisions

Section  41.001.  Policy.

It is in the interest of the public welfare of the State of Texas that the producers of any agricultural commodity be permitted and encouraged to develop, carry out, and participate in programs of research, disease and insect control, predator control, education, and promotion designed to encourage the production, marketing, and use of the agricultural commodity. The purpose of this chapter is to authorize and prescribe the necessary procedures by which the producers of an agricultural commodity grown in this state may finance those programs. The programs may be devised to alleviate any circumstance or condition that serves to impede the production, marketing, or use of any agricultural commodity.

Acts 1981, 67th Leg., p. 1081, ch. 388, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1981.



Section  41.002.  Definitions.

In this chapter:

(1)  "Agricultural commodity" means an agricultural, horticultural, viticultural, or vegetable product, bees and honey, planting seed, rice, livestock or livestock product, or poultry or poultry product, produced in this state, either in its natural state or as processed by the producer. The term does not include flax.

(2)  "Board" means a commodity producers board.

(3)  "Commissioner" means the commissioner of agriculture.

(4)  "District" means a geographical area within the jurisdiction of a board.

(5)  "Processor" means a person within this state who:

(A)  is a purchaser, warehouseman, processor, or other commercial handler of an agricultural commodity;

(B)  processes planting seeds; or

(C)  is the mortgagee of an agricultural commodity if the mortgage did not cover the commodity in its state as a growing crop and if the mortgage was executed at a time when the commodity was ready for marketing.

(6)  "Producer" means a person engaged in the business of producing or causing to be produced for commercial purposes an agricultural commodity. The term includes the owner of a farm on which the commodity is produced and the owner's tenant or sharecropper.

(7)  "Person" means an individual, firm, corporation, association, or any other business unit.

(8)  "Secretary-treasurer" means the secretary-treasurer of a board.

Acts 1981, 67th Leg., p. 1082, ch. 388, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1981. Amended by Acts 1983, 68th Leg., p. 3184, ch. 545, Sec. 1; Acts 1987, 70th Leg., ch. 109, Sec. 1, eff. May 18, 1987; Acts 2003, 78th Leg., 3rd C.S., ch. 3, Sec. 25.02, eff. Jan. 11, 2004.



Subchapter B. Certification Of Organizations To Conduct Referendum And Election

Section  41.011.  Petition For Certification.

(a) Any nonprofit organization authorized under the laws of this state representing the producers of an agricultural commodity may petition the commissioner for certification as the organization authorized to conduct an assessment referendum and an election of a commodity producers board.

(b)  If the referendum and election are to be conducted in a limited area of the state, the petition must describe the boundaries of the area to be included.

(c)  The petition must propose a board with an odd number of five to 15 members.

Acts 1981, 67th Leg., p. 1082, ch. 388, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1981. Amended by Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 1170, Sec. 7.01, eff. Sept. 1, 2003.



Section  41.012.  Certification By Commissioner.

(a) Within 30 days following the day on which a petition for certification is received, the commissioner shall hold a public hearing to consider the petition.

(b)  If the commissioner determines that, on the basis of testimony presented at the public hearing, the petitioning organization is representative of the producers of the agricultural commodity within the boundaries described in the petition and that the petition conforms to the purposes and provisions of this chapter, the commissioner shall certify that the organization is representative of the producers of the commodity within the described area and is authorized to conduct the assessment referendum and board election.

Acts 1981, 67th Leg., p. 1083, ch. 388, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1981.



Subchapter C. Referenda And Elections

Section  41.021.  Certified Organization To Conduct Referendum And Election.

In accordance with this subchapter and the rules of the commissioner, a certified organization may conduct a referendum of the producers of an agricultural commodity on the proposition of whether or not the producers shall levy an assessment on themselves to finance programs of research, disease and insect control, predator control, education, and promotion designed to encourage the production, marketing, and use of the commodity. At the same time, the certified organization may conduct an election of members to a commodity producers board for the commodity.

Acts 1981, 67th Leg., p. 1083, ch. 388, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1981.



Section  41.022.  Rules Of Commissioner.

In order to ensure efficient and honest elections and efficient canvassing and reporting of returns, the commissioner shall adopt rules regulating the form of the ballot, the conduct of the election, and the canvass and reporting of returns.

Acts 1981, 67th Leg., p. 1083, ch. 388, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1981.



Section  41.023.  Notice Of Referendum And Election.

(a) The certified organization shall give public notice of:

(1)  the date, hours, and polling places for voting in the referendum and election;

(2)  the estimated amount and basis of the assessment proposed to be collected;

(3)  whether a producer exemption is to be allowed in accordance with Section 41.082; and

(4)  a description of the manner in which the assessment is to be collected and the proceeds administered and used.

(b)  The notice under Subsection (a) of this section shall be published in one or more newspapers published and distributed within the boundaries described in the petition. The notice shall be published for not less than once a week for three consecutive weeks, beginning at least 60 days before the date of the election. In addition, at least 60 days before the date of the election the certified organization shall give direct written notice to each county agent in any county within the boundaries described in the petition.

Acts 1981, 67th Leg., p. 1083, ch. 388, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1981. Amended by Acts 1983, 68th Leg., p. 3184, ch. 545, Sec. 2.



Section  41.024.  Basis Of Referendum And Election; Eligible Voters.

(a) Subject to the approval of the commissioner, the certified organization may conduct the referendum and election under this chapter either on an area or statewide basis, as determined by the organization in its petition for certification.

(b)  A producer of the agricultural commodity is eligible to vote in the referendum and election if:

(1)  the producer's production occurs within the area described in the organization's petition; and

(2)  the producer would be required under the referendum to pay the assessment.

Acts 1981, 67th Leg., p. 1083, ch. 388, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1981.



Section  41.025.  Candidates For Board; Write-in Votes.

(a) Any producer who is eligible to vote at the referendum and election is eligible to be a member or a candidate for membership on the commodity producers board.

(b)  A potential candidate must file with the certified organization an application to have his or her name printed on the ballot. The application must be signed by the candidate and by at least 10 producers who are eligible to vote at the election. The application must be filed at least 30 days before the date set for the election.

(c)  A voter may vote for board members by writing in the name of any eligible person whose name is not printed on the ballot.

Acts 1981, 67th Leg., p. 1084, ch. 388, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1981.



Section  41.026.  Preparation And Distribution Of Ballot.

(a) The certified organization shall prepare and distribute all necessary ballots in advance of the referendum and election.

(b)  The referendum provisions of the ballot shall specify a maximum rate for the authorized assessment.

(c)  The election provisions of the ballot may be printed only with the names of candidates who have filed valid petitions under Section 41.025 of this code, but the ballot shall provide a space for write-in votes.

(d)  The ballot shall provide a space for the voter to certify the volume of the voter's production of the commodity within the area described in the petition during the preceding year or other relevant production period, as designated on the ballot.

Acts 1981, 67th Leg., p. 1084, ch. 388, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1981.



Section  41.027.  Expenses Of Election.

The certified organization is responsible for all expenses incurred in connection with the referendum and election, but it may be reimbursed for actual and necessary expenses out of funds deposited in the treasury of the board if the assessment is levied and collected.

Acts 1981, 67th Leg., p. 1084, ch. 388, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1981.



Section  41.028.  Exemptions For Producers.

The original referendum and subsequent biennial board elections may provide exemptions for producers within the boundaries described in the petition if the exemptions are included in full written form on the election ballot and are approved by two-thirds or more of those voting in the election.

Acts 1981, 67th Leg., p. 1084, ch. 388, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1981.



Section  41.029.  Void Ballots.

(a) In any contest of an election, a ballot is void if the voter overstated his or her volume of production by more than 10 percent. Any other error in stating volume of production is not grounds for invalidating the ballot.

(b)  If a ballot is void or if any other error is made in stating production volume, the returns shall be corrected and the results adjusted accordingly.

Acts 1981, 67th Leg., p. 1084, ch. 388, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1981.



Section  41.030.  Findings Of Commissioner.

On receiving the report of the returns of a referendum and election, the commissioner shall determine:

(1)  the number of votes cast for and against the referendum proposition;

(2)  the total volume of production of the commodity during the relevant production period in the area described in the petition;

(3)  the percentage of the total volume of production of the commodity that was produced by those voting in favor of the referendum proposition; and

(4)  the appropriate number of candidates receiving the highest number of votes for membership on the commodity producers board.

Acts 1981, 67th Leg., p. 1085, ch. 388, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1981.



Section  41.031.  Certification Of Results.

If the commissioner finds that two-thirds or more of those voting in the election voted in favor of the referendum proposition or that those voting in favor of the proposition produced at least 50 percent of the volume of production of the commodity during the relevant production period, the commissioner shall publicly certify the adoption of the referendum proposition and issue certificates of election to those persons elected to the board. Otherwise, the commissioner shall publicly certify that the referendum proposition was defeated.

Acts 1981, 67th Leg., p. 1085, ch. 388, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1981.



Section  41.032.  Subsequent Board Elections.

A commodity producers board shall conduct biennial elections for the purpose of electing members to the board. The board shall give notice and hold the election in accordance with the applicable provisions of this subchapter relating to the initial election and, to the extent necessary, in accordance with the rules of the commissioner.

Acts 1981, 67th Leg., p. 1085, ch. 388, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1981.



Section  41.033.  Election Of Board From Districts.

(a) In accordance with the rules of the commissioner, a certified organization or established board may provide for election of all or any number of the members of the board from districts. Each plan must be submitted to the commissioner for approval.

(b)  In order to represent a district on the board, a person must reside within that district. Only voters residing in a district may vote for candidates for the position representing the district.

(c)  With the approval of the commissioner, a district representation plan may be modified.

Acts 1981, 67th Leg., p. 1085, ch. 388, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1981.



Section  41.034.  Elections To Add New Territory.

(a) Producers of an agricultural commodity in an area not within the jurisdiction of a board for that commodity may petition the commissioner to authorize a referendum within an area specified in the petition on the issue of whether or not the area is to be included within the jurisdiction of that board. The petition must be submitted to the commissioner at least 105 days before the date of the election at which the referendum is to be conducted.

(b)  If the commissioner determines that in the area described there exists among the producers of the commodity an interest in becoming subject to the jurisdiction of the board that is substantial enough to justify a referendum, the commissioner may transmit the petition to the board with an order authorizing the board in its discretion to conduct the election at its own expense. The petition and order must be transmitted to the board at least 75 days before the date of the election.

(c)  The referendum shall be held on the date of the biennial election of board members. The board shall give public notice of:

(1)  the date of the election;

(2)  the amount and basis of the assessment collected by the board;

(3)  a description of the manner in which the assessment is collected and the proceeds administered and used; and

(4)  any other proposition the board proposes to include on the ballot as authorized or required by this chapter.

(d)  The notice under Subsection (c) of this section shall be published in one or more newspapers published and distributed, or generally circulated, within the boundaries described in the petition. The notice shall be published at least once a week for three consecutive weeks, beginning at least 60 days before the date of the election. In addition, at least 60 days before the date of the election the board shall give direct written notice to each county agent in any county within the described boundaries.

(e)  A person is qualified to vote in the referendum if he or she is or, for at least one production period during the three years preceding the date of the referendum, has been a producer of the commodity whose production occurs within the area described in the petition.

(f)  A producer who is qualified to vote in the referendum is eligible to be a member of or a candidate for membership on the board. If the board is elected from districts, a producer within the described boundaries may be a candidate only for at-large positions on the board, if any. In order to qualify as a candidate, the producer must comply with Section 41.025 of this code, except that the application shall be filed with the board and may not be filed before the first publication of notice under Subsection (d) of this section.

(g)  In the area described in the petition, the ballot shall be prepared and distributed and the election shall be conducted in accordance with the rules of the commissioner under Section 41.022 of this code.

(h)  Except as otherwise provided in this subsection, voters qualified to vote in the referendum are entitled to vote for candidates for membership on the board and for any other proposition printed on the ballot for the regular election. If board members are elected from districts, voters in the area described in the petition may vote only for at-large positions, if any.

(i)  The ballots cast in the area described in the petition shall be canvassed, and the returns reported, separately from the ballots cast in other areas. On those returns, the board shall perform the functions of the commissioner described in Section 41.030 of this code, except that the board shall certify whether the referendum proposition carried or was defeated in the area described in the petition. If the referendum proposition is defeated, the ballots cast in the area described in the petition may not be counted for any other purpose. If the proposition carries, the returns shall be included in determining the election of board members and the outcome of other propositions. The area described in the petition becomes subject to the jurisdiction of the board on the day following the date that the result is certified.

Acts 1981, 67th Leg., p. 1085, ch. 388, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1981.



Subchapter D. Organization, Powers, And Duties Of Boards

Section  41.051.  Board Established.

If the commissioner certifies adoption of a referendum proposition under Section 41.031 of this code, the board is established and has the powers and duties prescribed by this chapter.

Acts 1981, 67th Leg., p. 1087, ch. 388, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1981.



Section  41.052.  State Agency.

(a) Each board is a state agency for purposes of indemnification and is exempt from taxation in the same manner and to the same extent as are other agencies of the state.

(b)  Each board is a governmental unit for purposes of Section 101.001, Civil Practice and Remedies Code, and is a governmental body for purposes of Chapters 551 and 552, Government Code.

Acts 1981, 67th Leg., p. 1087, ch. 388, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1981. Amended by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 52, Sec. 7, eff. May 7, 2001.



Section  41.053.  Organizational Meeting; Terms Of Office.

(a) On receiving certificates of election from the commissioner, the members of the commodity producers board shall meet and organize.

(b)  Members of the initial board shall draw lots so that one-third, or as near one-third as possible, of the members shall hold office for two years, one-third, or as near one-third as possible, for four years, and one-third, or as near one-third as possible, for six years. Thereafter, members of the board serve for terms of six years.

(c)  Each member holds office until a successor is elected and has qualified.

Acts 1981, 67th Leg., p. 1087, ch. 388, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1981. Amended by Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 1170, Sec. 7.02, eff. Sept. 1, 2003.



Section  41.054.  Officers; Bond.

(a) The board shall elect from its number a chairman, a secretary-treasurer, and other officers that it considers necessary.

(b)  The secretary-treasurer shall execute a corporate surety bond in an amount required by the board. The bond shall be conditioned on the secretary-treasurer faithfully accounting for all money that comes into the custody of the officer. The bond shall be filed with the commissioner.

Acts 1981, 67th Leg., p. 1087, ch. 388, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1981.



Section  41.055.  Vacancy.

The board shall fill any vacancy on the board by appointment for the unexpired term.

Acts 1981, 67th Leg., p. 1087, ch. 388, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1981.



Section  41.056.  Majority Vote Requirement.

A majority vote of all members present is necessary for an action of the board to be valid.

Acts 1981, 67th Leg., p. 1087, ch. 388, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1981.



Section  41.057.  Compensation.

Members of the board serve without compensation but are entitled to reimbursement for reasonable and necessary expenses incurred in the discharge of their duties.

Acts 1981, 67th Leg., p. 1087, ch. 388, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1981.



Section  41.058.  Powers And Duties.

(a) The board may employ necessary personnel, fix the amount and manner of their compensation, and incur other expenses that are necessary and proper to enable the board to effectively carry out the purposes of this chapter.

(b)  The board may adopt rules consistent with the purposes of this chapter.

(c)  The board shall keep minutes of its meetings and other books and records that clearly reflect all acts and transactions of the board. The board shall open its records to examination by any participating producer during regular business hours.

(d)  The board shall set the rate of the assessment. The rate may not exceed the maximum established in the election authorizing the assessment or a subsequent election establishing a maximum rate.

(e)  The board may act separately or in cooperation with any person in developing, carrying out, and participating in programs of research, disease and insect control, predator control, education, and promotion designed to encourage the production, marketing, and use of the commodity on which the assessment is levied.

Acts 1981, 67th Leg., p. 1087, ch. 388, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1981.



Section  41.059.  Budget; Annual Report; Audits.

(a) The board shall file with the commissioner a proposed budget and may expend funds only after the commissioner has approved the budget. If after thorough review the commissioner disapproves the proposed budget, the commissioner shall return the proposed budget to the submitting board not later than the 45th day after the date on which the proposed budget is submitted with a statement of reasons for disapproval.

(b)  Accounts of the board are subject to audit by the state auditor.

(c)  Within 30 days following the end of each fiscal year of the board, the board shall submit to the commissioner a report itemizing all income and expenditures and describing all activities of the board during the previous fiscal year.

Acts 1981, 67th Leg., p. 1088, ch. 388, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1981. Amended by Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 230, Sec. 35, eff. Sept. 1, 1989.



Section  41.060.  Depository Bank; Expenditure Of Funds.

(a) The secretary-treasurer shall deposit all money received by the board under this chapter, including assessments, donations from persons, and grants from governmental agencies, in a bank selected by the board.

(b)  Money received by the board may be expended for any purpose under this chapter.

(c)  Funds assessed and collected under this chapter may not be expended for use directly or indirectly to promote or oppose the election of any candidate for public office or to influence legislation.

Acts 1981, 67th Leg., p. 1088, ch. 388, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1981.



Subchapter E. Assessments

Section  41.081.  Collection Of Assessment.

(a) The processor at a commodity process point determined by the board shall collect the assessment. Except as provided by Subsection (b) of this section, the processor at that point shall collect the assessment by deducting the appropriate amount from the purchase price of the commodity or from any funds advanced for that purpose.

(b)  If the producer and processor are the same legal entity, or if the producer retains ownership after processing, the processor shall collect the assessment directly from the producer at the time of processing.

(c)  The secretary-treasurer of the board, by registered or certified mail, shall notify each processor of the duty to collect the assessment, the manner in which the assessment is to be collected, and the date on or after which the processor is to begin collecting the assessment.

(d)  The amount of the assessment collected shall be clearly shown on the sales invoice or other document evidencing the transaction. The processor shall furnish a copy of the document to the producer.

(e)  Unless otherwise provided by the original referendum, no later than the 10th day of each month the processor shall remit the amount collected during the previous month to the secretary-treasurer of the board.

Acts 1981, 67th Leg., p. 1088, ch. 388, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1981.



Section  41.082.  Producer Exemption.

(a) A producer may exempt his or her product sales from assessment by filing a signed request for exemption with the processor at the time of each sale unless the notice of referendum to authorize the assessment or to add new territory stated that such an exemption would not be allowed or unless any board established prior to September 1, 1983, adopts a rule denying such an exemption. The processor shall include copies of the exemption request with the remittance of collected assessments to the secretary-treasurer.

(b)  The commissioner shall prescribe the form of the request for exemption. The board shall furnish the prescribed form to each processor within the board's jurisdiction.

Acts 1981, 67th Leg., p. 1088, ch. 388, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1981. Amended by Acts 1983, 68th Leg., p. 3185, ch. 545, Sec. 3, eff. Nov. 8, 1983.



Section  41.083.  Producer Refunds.

(a) A producer who has paid an assessment may obtain a refund of the amount paid by filing an application for refund with the secretary-treasurer within 60 days after the date of payment. The application must be in writing, on a form prescribed by the board for that purpose, and accompanied by proof of payment of the assessment.

(b)  The secretary-treasurer shall pay the refund to the producer before the 11th day of the month following the month in which the application for refund and proof of payment are received.

Acts 1981, 67th Leg., p. 1089, ch. 388, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1981.



Section  41.084.  Increase Of Assessment.

At any biennial board election, the board may submit to the voters a proposition to increase the maximum rate of assessment. The proposition is approved and the new maximum rate is in effect if two-thirds or more of those voting vote in favor of the proposition or if those voting in favor of the proposition produced at least 50 percent of the volume of production of the commodity during the relevant production period.

Acts 1981, 67th Leg., p. 1089, ch. 388, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1981.



Section  41.085.  Discontinuance Of Assessment.

(a) If 10 percent or more of the producers participating in the program present to the secretary-treasurer a petition calling for a referendum of the qualified voters on the proposition of discontinuing the assessment, the board shall conduct a referendum for that purpose.

(b)  The board shall give notice of the referendum, the referendum shall be conducted, and the results shall be declared in the manner provided by law for the original referendum and election, with any necessary exceptions provided by rule of the commissioner.

(c)  The board shall conduct the referendum within 90 days of the date of filing of the petition.

(d)  Approval of the proposition is by majority vote of those voting. If the proposition is approved, the assessment is abolished.

Acts 1981, 67th Leg., p. 1089, ch. 388, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1981.



Subchapter F. Remedies And Penalties

Section  41.101.  Failure To Remit Assessment.

(a) The board may investigate conditions that relate to the prompt remittance of the assessment by any producer or processor. If the board has probable cause to believe that a person has failed to collect an assessment or failed to remit to the board an assessment as required by this chapter, the board may:

(1)  independently institute proceedings for recovery of the amount due to the board or for injunctive or other appropriate relief;

(2)  request the attorney general, or the county or district attorney having jurisdiction, or both, to institute proceedings in the board's behalf; or

(3)  forward to the department for action under Section 41.1011 a complaint and any original evidence or other information establishing probable cause.

(b)  Suit under this section may be brought in Travis County or a county in which the person who is alleged to have failed to collect or remit an assessment conducts business related to the commodity subject to the uncollected or unpaid assessment.

(c)  The remedies provided by this section are cumulative of other remedies provided by law.

Acts 1981, 67th Leg., p. 1089, ch. 388, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1981. Amended by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 374, Sec. 2, eff. May 25, 2001.



Section  41.1011.  Action By Department.

(a) On receipt of a complaint from the board under Section 41.101(a)(3), the department may investigate, audit, and inspect the records of the person who is the subject of the complaint, provided that any audit or inspection must take place during normal business hours.

(b)  On determination by the department that a person has failed to collect an assessment or failed to remit to the board an assessment collected from a producer or processor, the department may:

(1)  request a hearing under Section 12.032 to determine the amount of payment due to the board, including interest at an annual rate of 10 percent, and issue an order that the person pay the required amount to the board;

(2)  impose an appropriate administrative penalty; and

(3)  request the attorney general or a county or district attorney having jurisdiction to bring an action for appropriate civil or criminal penalties or injunctive relief.

(c)  The attorney general may bring a civil action to enforce an order of the department and collect any amounts owed under the order, including costs and fees under Subsection (d).

(d)  On prevailing in an action commenced by the department through the attorney general or a county or district attorney under this section, the department and the attorney general or county or district attorney are each entitled to recover, in addition to other relief available:

(1)  investigation costs and fees;

(2)  reasonable attorney's fees; and

(3)  court costs.

(e)  Suit under this section may be brought in Travis County or a county in which the person who failed to collect or remit an assessment conducts business related to the commodity subject to the uncollected or unpaid assessment.

(f)  An assessment and any interest collected under this section shall be deposited in the account of the board that levied the assessment.

(g)  The remedies provided by this section are cumulative of other remedies provided by law.

Added by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 374, Sec. 3, eff. May 25, 2001.



Section  41.102.  Suspension Or Revocation Of License.

In addition to other remedies provided by law, a violation of any provision of Subchapters B-E of this chapter is grounds for suspension or revocation of any license or permit issued by the commissioner. The suspension or revocation shall be conducted in accordance with the procedures provided by law for suspension or revocation on the basis of other grounds.

Acts 1981, 67th Leg., p. 1090, ch. 388, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1981.



Section  41.103.  General Penalty.

(a) A person commits an offense if the person violates any provision of Subchapters B-E of this chapter.

(b)  An offense under this section is a Class C misdemeanor.

Acts 1981, 67th Leg., p. 1090, ch. 388, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1981. Amended by Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 230, Sec. 36, eff. Sept. 1, 1989.



Section  41.104.  Use Of Funds For Political Activity.

(a) A member of a board commits an offense if the member:

(1)  wilfully spends or assists in spending money in violation of Section 41.060(c) of this code; or

(2)  without causing or attempting to cause his or her dissent to be entered in the records or minutes of the board, participates in a meeting or session of the board in which money is authorized or directed to be expended in violation of Section 41.060(c) of this code.

(b)  An offense under this section is a misdemeanor punishable by a fine of not less than $100 nor more than $1,000.

Acts 1981, 67th Leg., p. 1090, ch. 388, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1981.



Subchapter G. Suspension Of Activities Of Certain Boards

Section  41.125.  Inactive Status.

(a) The Texas Mohair Producers Board and the Texas Pork Producers Board are inactive as provided by Section 41.126 of this code until reactivated under Section 41.127 of this code. Neither board is abolished, and a referendum election under Subchapter C of this chapter is not required to reactivate either board.

(b)  The Southern Rolling Plains Cotton Producers Board and the Texas Soybean Producers Board are inactive as provided by Section 41.126 of this code until reactivated under Section 41.127 of this code. Neither board is abolished, and a referendum election under Subchapter C of this chapter is not required to reactivate either board.

Added by Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 94, Sec. 1, eff. May 15, 1989. Amended by Acts 1993, 73rd Leg., ch. 93, Sec. 1, eff. Aug. 30, 1993; Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 243, Sec. 1, eff. May 23, 1997.



Section  41.126.  Powers And Duties.

(a) A board listed in Subsection (a) of Section 41.125 of this code may not exercise any powers under this chapter after the end of the board's 1989 fiscal year other than preparing and submitting the fiscal year 1989 report required by Subsection (c) of Section 41.059 of this code.

(b)  The Southern Rolling Plains Cotton Producers Board may not exercise any powers under this chapter after the end of the board's 1993 fiscal year other than preparing and submitting the fiscal year 1993 report required by Subsection (c) of Section 41.059 of this code.

(c)  The Texas Soybean Producers Board may not exercise any powers under this chapter after the end of the board's 1997 fiscal year other than preparing and submitting the fiscal year 1997 report required by Subsection (c) of Section 41.059 of this code.

(d)  After submitting the report required by Subsection (a), (b), or (c) of this section, the board may not conduct biennial elections under Section 41.032 of this code or submit the report required by Subsection (c) of Section 41.059 of this code.

(e)  The board may collect the assessment only during the fiscal year for which a report is required by Subsection (a), (b), or (c) of this section.

(f)  The board shall disburse funds as provided in the budget of the fiscal year for which a report is required by Subsection (a), (b), or (c) of this section. Money of the board remaining on the first day after that fiscal year shall remain in the board's depository bank until the board is reactivated or the department by rule provides for the disposition of the funds.

(g)  Members of the board serving on the date the final report is submitted continue to serve until their successors are elected and qualify for office.

Added by Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 94, Sec. 1, eff. May 15, 1989. Amended by Acts 1993, 73rd Leg., ch. 93, Sec. 2, eff. Aug. 30, 1993; Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 243, Sec. 2, eff. May 23, 1997.



Section  41.127.  Reactivation.

(a) The commissioner shall order the reactivation of a board listed in Subsection (a) or (b) of Section 41.125 of this code if:

(1)  a majority of the members of the board petition the commissioner to reactivate the board and the commissioner determines that reactivation of the board is in the best interest of the producers subject to assessment by the board; or

(2)  for a board listed in Subsection (a) of Section 41.125 of this code, a federal assessment is not assessed on mohair or pork, as applicable.

(b)  If a board is reactivated, the board will consist of:

(1)  members of the board whose terms have not expired; and

(2)  persons elected at an election held as provided by Subsection (c) of this section.

(c)  An election shall be held after reactivation to fill any vacancies on the board. The election shall be held in the manner provided for the biennial election of members by Section 41.032 of this code. Persons elected shall draw lots to determine the length of each person's term.

Added by Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 94, Sec. 1, eff. May 15, 1989. Amended by Acts 1993, 73rd Leg., ch. 93, Sec. 3, eff. Aug. 30, 1993.



Subchapter H. Texas Beef Marketing, Education, Research, And Promotion

Section 41.151.  Definitions.

In this subchapter:

(1)  "Beef products" means products produced in whole or in part from beef.  The term does not include milk or products made from milk.

(2)   "Council" means the Texas Beef Council.

(3)  "Producer" means a person who owns or acquires ownership of cattle, except that a person is not a producer if the person's only share in the proceeds of a sale of cattle or beef is a sales commission, handling fee, or other service fee.

Added by Acts 2003, 78th Leg., 3rd C.S., ch. 3, Sec. 25.03, eff. Jan. 11, 2004.

Amended by:

Acts 2009, 81st Leg., R.S., Ch. 506, Sec. 9.08, eff. September 1, 2009.



Section  41.152.  Declaration Of Policy.

(a) The legislature intends that the promotion, marketing, research, and educational efforts regarding beef and beef products under this subchapter use existing cattle industry infrastructure to the extent possible.

(b)  The council shall be the certified organization to plan, implement, and operate research, education, promotion, and marketing programs under this subchapter.  The council is the state beef council qualified to collect the proceeds of and administer in this state the beef check off program established by federal law.

Added by Acts 2003, 78th Leg., 3rd C.S., ch. 3, Sec. 25.03, eff. Jan. 11, 2004.

Amended by:

Acts 2009, 81st Leg., R.S., Ch. 506, Sec. 9.09, eff. September 1, 2009.



Section  41.153.  Administrative Costs.

The department may recover costs for administration of this subchapter.

Added by Acts 2003, 78th Leg., 3rd C.S., ch. 3, Sec. 25.03, eff. Jan. 11, 2004.



Section  41.154.  Annual Report.

The council shall deliver to the commissioner and the appropriate oversight committee in the senate and house of representatives an annual report giving details of its efforts to carry out the purposes of this subchapter.

Added by Acts 2003, 78th Leg., 3rd C.S., ch. 3, Sec. 25.03, eff. Jan. 11, 2004.



Section  41.155.  Conflict With General Commodity Law Provisions.

To the extent that the provisions of this subchapter conflict with other provisions of this chapter, the provisions of this subchapter prevail.

Added by Acts 2003, 78th Leg., 3rd C.S., ch. 3, Sec. 25.03, eff. Jan. 11, 2004.



Section 41.156.  Council Members.

(a) The council is composed of 20 members nominated by the council and appointed by the commissioner as follows:

(1)  three representatives of the Texas and Southwestern Cattle Raisers Association;

(2)  three representatives of the Texas Cattle Feeders Association;

(3)  three representatives of the Texas Farm Bureau;

(4)  two representatives of the Independent Cattlemen's Association of Texas;

(5)  two representatives of the Texas purebred cattle industry;

(6)  two representatives of the Texas dairy industry;

(7)  one representative of the Livestock Marketing Association of Texas;

(8)  one representative of meat packer and exporter associations;

(9)  one representative of Texas CattleWomen; and

(10)  two at-large directors.

(b)  A council member serves a one-year term or until his or her successor is appointed.  A council member may serve not more than six consecutive one-year terms, except that a council member who is elected to serve as an officer during the member's sixth consecutive one-year term may serve as chairman or past chairman for not more than two additional consecutive one-year terms.

(c)  The commissioner, on recommendation of the council, shall fill a vacancy on the council by appointment for the unexpired term.

Added by Acts 2003, 78th Leg., 3rd C.S., ch. 3, Sec. 25.03, eff. Jan. 11, 2004.

Amended by:

Acts 2009, 81st Leg., R.S., Ch. 506, Sec. 9.10, eff. September 1, 2009.



Section 41.157.  General Powers Of Council.

The council may take action or exercise other authority as necessary to execute any act authorized by this chapter or the Texas Non-Profit Corporation Act (Article 1396-1.01 et seq., Vernon's Texas Civil Statutes).

Added by Acts 2003, 78th Leg., 3rd C.S., ch. 3, Sec. 25.03, eff. Jan. 11, 2004.

Amended by:

Acts 2009, 81st Leg., R.S., Ch. 506, Sec. 9.11, eff. September 1, 2009.



Section  41.158.  Donations.

The council may accept gifts, donations, and grants of money, including appropriated funds, from state government, federal government, local governments, private corporations, or other persons, to be used for the purposes of this subchapter.

Added by Acts 2003, 78th Leg., 3rd C.S., ch. 3, Sec. 25.03, eff. Jan. 11, 2004.



Section  41.159.  Borrowing.

The council may borrow money on approval of the commissioner.

Added by Acts 2003, 78th Leg., 3rd C.S., ch. 3, Sec. 25.03, eff. Jan. 11, 2004.



Section  41.160.  Assessments; Applicability Of Other Law. (a)

The commissioner, on the recommendation of the council, shall propose the maximum assessment in a referendum under Section 41.162.

(b)  If an assessment referendum is approved, the council shall recommend to the commissioner an assessment amount not greater than the maximum amount approved in the referendum.  After the assessment is approved by the commissioner, the council shall collect the assessment.

(c)  An assessment levied on producers shall be applied by the council to efforts relating to the marketing, education, research, and promotion of beef and beef products in Texas, the United States, and international markets, including administrative costs of conducting an assessment referendum.

(d)  Assessments collected by the council are not state funds and are not required to be deposited in the state treasury.

(e)  Section 41.083 applies to an assessment collected by the council under this subchapter.  Section 41.082 does not apply to an assessment collected under this subchapter.  The commissioner, on the council's recommendation, may exempt from the assessment certain producers who are exempt under federal law.

Added by Acts 2003, 78th Leg., 3rd C.S., ch. 3, Sec. 25.03, eff. Jan. 11, 2004.

Amended by:

Acts 2009, 81st Leg., R.S., Ch. 506, Sec. 9.12, eff. September 1, 2009.



Section  41.161.  Financial Oversight.

(a) The commissioner shall annually review and approve the council's operating budget for the funds collected under this subchapter.

(b)  The commissioner and the state auditor at any time may inspect the financial records of the council.

Added by Acts 2003, 78th Leg., 3rd C.S., ch. 3, Sec. 25.03, eff. Jan. 11, 2004.

Amended by:

Acts 2009, 81st Leg., R.S., Ch. 506, Sec. 9.13, eff. September 1, 2009.



Section  41.162.  Conduct Of Referendum; Balloting.

(a) On the recommendation of the council, the commissioner shall conduct a referendum authorized under this subchapter.

(b)  Only a producer who has owned cattle in the last 12 months before the date of the referendum is eligible to vote in the referendum.

(c)  An eligible producer may vote only once in a referendum.

(d)  Each producer's vote is entitled to equal weight regardless of the producer's volume of production.

(e)  A referendum is approved if a simple majority of votes are cast in favor of the referendum.

(f)  Individual voter information, including an individual's vote in a referendum conducted under this section, is confidential and not subject to disclosure under Chapter 552, Government Code.

(g)  The council shall pay all expenses incurred in conducting a referendum with funds collected from the beef industry.

Added by Acts 2003, 78th Leg., 3rd C.S., ch. 3, Sec. 25.03, eff. Jan. 11, 2004.

Amended by:

Acts 2009, 81st Leg., R.S., Ch. 506, Sec. 9.14, eff. September 1, 2009.



Section  41.163.  Rules.

The commissioner may adopt rules as necessary to implement this subchapter, including rules relating to:

(1)  the auditing of the financial records of the council;

(2)  fidelity bonds required for certain council employees;

(3)  conflicts of interest;

(4)  penalties; and

(5)  a statewide referendum under Section 41.156.

Added by Acts 2003, 78th Leg., 3rd C.S., ch. 3, Sec. 25.03, eff. Jan. 11, 2004.



Section  41.164.  Penalties.

(a) A person who violates this subchapter or a rule adopted under this subchapter commits an offense.

(b)  An offense under this section is a Class C misdemeanor.

Added by Acts 2003, 78th Leg., 3rd C.S., ch. 3, Sec. 25.03, eff. Jan. 11, 2004.

Chapter 42. Food And Fibers Research Grant Program

Section 42.001.  Purpose.

The food and fibers research grant program is a program in the department to assist the fibers and oilseeds industries in this state by identifying and obtaining available funding from public and private entities, including federal agencies and state agencies in this and other states, for the support of applied research related to fibers and oilseeds.

Acts 1981, 67th Leg., p. 1090, ch. 388, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1981. Amended by Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 38, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1989.

Amended by:

Acts 2005, 79th Leg., Ch. 245, Sec. 2, eff. May 30, 2005.



Section 42.0015.  Definitions.

In this chapter:

(1)  "Council" means the Food and Fibers Research Council.

(2)  "Program" means the food and fibers research grant program.

Added by Acts 2005, 79th Leg., Ch. 245, Sec. 3, eff. May 30, 2005.



Section 42.002.  Organization.

The Food and Fibers Research Council is composed of the following members appointed by the commissioner:

(1)  the commissioner or the commissioner's designee;

(2)  two representatives of the Texas Cotton Producers Association;

(3)  a representative of the Texas Cotton Association;

(4)  a representative of the Texas Cotton Ginners Association;

(5)  a representative of the Texas Independent Ginners Association;

(6)  a representative of the Texas Agriculture Cooperative Council;

(7)  a representative of the Mohair Council of America;

(8)  a representative of the Texas Sheep and Goat Raisers Association;

(9)  a Texas representative of the National Cottonseed Products Association;

(10)  a representative of the peanut industry;

(11)  a representative of the textile or fashion industry;  and

(12)  a representative of the food processing industry.

Acts 1981, 67th Leg., p. 1091, ch. 388, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1981. Amended by Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 479, Sec. 184, eff. Sept. 1, 1985; Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 729, Sec. 11, eff. Sept. 1, 1985; Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 38, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1989; Acts 1991, 72nd Leg., 1st C.S., ch. 17, Sec. 2.03, eff. Nov. 12, 1991; Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 37, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1995.

Amended by:

Acts 2005, 79th Leg., Ch. 245, Sec. 4, eff. May 30, 2005.

Acts 2007, 80th Leg., R.S., Ch. 884, Sec. 1, eff. June 15, 2007.



Section 42.003.  Administration.

(a) Members of the council serve staggered six-year terms, with as near as possible to one-third of the members' terms expiring on February 1 of each odd-numbered year.

(b)  The commissioner or the commissioner's designee serves as presiding officer of the council.

(c)  The council shall meet at least once each year at a time designated by the presiding officer.

(d)  Members of the council are not entitled to compensation for service on the council or reimbursement for travel expenses incurred by the member while conducting council business.

(e)  The commissioner shall provide the council with necessary staff and resources to administer the program, as determined by the commissioner.  The commissioner may also appoint or employ consultants or other agents as necessary for the business of the program.

(f)  The commissioner may adopt rules necessary to administer this chapter.

Acts 1981, 67th Leg., p. 1091, ch. 388, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1981. Amended by Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 38, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1989; Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 37, Sec. 2, eff. Sept. 1, 1995.

Amended by:

Acts 2005, 79th Leg., Ch. 245, Sec. 4, eff. May 30, 2005.



Section 42.004.  Powers And Duties.

(a) The council shall administer the program to provide funding for surveys, research, and investigations relating to the use of cotton fiber, cottonseed, oilseed products, other products of the cotton plant, wool, mohair, and other textile products.

(b)  The department may contract with any state institution of higher education, state agency, or federal agricultural agency to perform services for the council or for the use of the facilities of the agency.

(c)  The awarding of program grant funds under this chapter is restricted to surveys, research, or investigations of cotton, cottonseed oil or other related oilseed products, wool, mohair, or other related textile products, unless otherwise specifically provided by the terms of the grant.

Acts 1981, 67th Leg., p. 1091, ch. 388, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1981. Amended by Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 38, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1989.

Amended by:

Acts 2005, 79th Leg., Ch. 245, Sec. 4, eff. May 30, 2005.



Section 42.008.  Finances.

(a) The council and the department may solicit and accept, for the purposes of this chapter, gifts, donations, and grants from public and private sources, subject only to limitations contained in the gift, donation, or grant.

(b)   Funds appropriated for the purposes of this chapter shall be expended at the direction of the council on claims approved by the council.

(c)  The total amount of appropriations, exclusive of legislative appropriations of gifts from private sources, expended or encumbered by the council for purposes of research during a fiscal biennium may not exceed the amount of private gifts, donations, or grants to the council expended or encumbered for research during the same period.

(d)  All money paid to the council under this chapter is subject to Subchapter F, Chapter 404, Government Code.

Added by Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 38, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1989. Amended by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 37, Sec. 3, eff. Sept. 1, 1995.

Amended by:

Acts 2005, 79th Leg., Ch. 245, Sec. 4, eff. May 30, 2005.


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