Washington State Beef Commission bill passes House, sent to Senate

Legislation that would direct the Washington State Beef Commission to take action on promoting the health of cattle and improving the transparency of its financial operations passed out of the state House of Representatives on a 91-7 vote Wednesday. House Bill 2073, prime sponsored by Rep. Tom Dent, has been referred to the state Senate for further consideration.

“This legislation represents ten months of hard work with ranchers, farmers and other important stakeholder groups,” said Dent, R-Moses Lake. “We want to prioritize some of the Beef Commission's responsibilities, including education related to the health and disease control of beef. We also want to improve the oversight, transparency and accountability of its financial operations.”

The purpose of the Washington State Beef Commission is to fund beef promotion, research and consumer education activities supporting the state's beef industry. It consists of nine commissioners, including the director of the state Department of Agriculture who appoints the other eight members. Commissioners serve three-year terms. The commission is funded by a per head assessment on all cattle sold in the state. House Bill 2073 began in the House Agriculture and Natural Resources Committee, where Dent is the assistant ranking minority member. The legislative session began on Jan. 9 and is scheduled to end on April 23.

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Washington State House Republican Communications
houserepublicans.wa.gov