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Title XVII AGRICULTURE AND ANIMALS

Chapter 263

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  263.527.  Regional referendum on assessment for costs of eradication — assessment basis — voting procedure — deposit of funds collected — annual audit. — 1.  At the request of the certified organization, the department shall authorize a statewide referendum among cotton growers on the question of whether an assessment shall be levied upon cotton growers in the state to offset, in whole or in part, the cost of boll weevil suppression or eradication programs authorized by sections 263.500 to 263.537 or any other law of this state.  Such program shall be designed on a regional basis so as to reflect the differences in boll weevil infestation and the relative cost of financing a boll weevil suppression and eradication program in the respective regions.

  2.  The assessment levied under sections 263.500 to 263.537 shall be based upon the number of acres of cotton planted in the eradication area.  The amount of the assessment, the period of time for which it shall be levied, how it shall be levied, when it shall be paid, and the geographical area to be covered by the assessment shall be determined by the department in consultation with the official cotton board of directors established in section 263.523.  The department shall promulgate only those regulations necessary pursuant to this section.

  3.  All affected cotton growers shall be entitled to one vote in any such referendum.  The department, after consultation with the certified organization, shall determine any questions of eligibility to vote.

  4.  Each eligible cotton grower shall be mailed a ballot upon which to cast a vote for or against the boll weevil suppression and eradication program.

  5.  If at least two-thirds of those voting vote in favor of the assessment, then the assessment shall be collected by the department from the affected cotton growers.

  6.  The assessments collected by the department under sections 263.500 to 263.537 shall be promptly remitted to the certified organization under such terms and conditions as the department shall deem necessary to ensure that such assessments are used in a sound program of eradication or suppression of the boll weevil.

  7.  The certified organization shall provide to the department an annual audit of its accounts performed by a certified public accountant.

  8.  The assessments collected by the department under sections 263.500 to 263.537 shall not be state funds.  All assessments shall be deposited into a special fund to be established by the director of the department.  The fund shall be held in trust by the director for the benefit of the certified organization and shall be invested in the manner required of the state treasurer for state funds by sections 30.250, 30.260 and 30.270.  The director shall keep accurate records of the amount of money in the fund collected for the certified organization and the records shall be open to the inspection of officers of the organization.  The unexpended balance in the special fund at the end of the annual period shall not be transferred to the general revenue fund, the provisions of section 33.080 notwithstanding.

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(L. 1995 S.B. 66 § 12, A.L. 1998 H.B. 1859 merged with S.B. 945)

Effective 7-10-98 (S.B. 945); 8-28-98 (H.B. 1859)


---- end of effective   28 Aug 1998 ----

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