Rep. Buys agriculture legislation passes House committee before deadline

Two bills that would benefit farmers, sponsored by Rep. Vincent Buys, R-Lynden, passed out of policy committee this week.

One of the bills was a request from Buys’ local Raspberry farmers. House Bill 1770 would allow two non-voting members with marketing experience to sit on any agricultural commission. Inclusion of the members is optional, so boards are not required to add people.

The legislation provides flexibility for agricultural commissions so they can utilize greater marketing expertise to promote their products (wheat, raspberries, dairy, etc.). The bill was voted out of House Agriculture & Natural Resources Committee unanimously.

“Agriculture is a leading industry in our state. This bill would help our growers market their goods in a different way which will help sales. In this economy, improving the marketing of our agriculture products is a benefit to all Washingtonians,” Buys said.

The other bill, House Bill 1438, would provide relief for a number of farmers in Whatcom County who have been struggling for the last 20 to 25 years to maintain their existing water rights. The legislation was voted out of the House Agriculture & Natural Resources Committee yesterday, Feb. 21.

“House Bill 1438 was drafted with the help of farmers, water experts and the Department of Ecology. The result is consensus and a common-sense solution to a complicated problem,” Buys said.

The deadline for bills to be voted out of policy committee is today, Friday, Feb. 22. The session began on Jan. 14 and is scheduled to last for 105-days.



Washington State House Republican Communications