Bill Text: TX SB731 | 2021-2022 | 87th Legislature | Introduced


Bill Title: Relating to the detection and mitigation of plant pests and diseases.

Spectrum: Partisan Bill (Republican 1-0)

Status: (Introduced) 2021-03-11 - Referred to Water, Agriculture, & Rural Affairs [SB731 Detail]

Download: Texas-2021-SB731-Introduced.html
  87R4877 BEF-F
 
  By: Perry S.B. No. 731
 
 
 
A BILL TO BE ENTITLED
 
AN ACT
  relating to the detection and mitigation of plant pests and
  diseases.
         BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF TEXAS:
         SECTION 1.  Chapter 71, Agriculture Code, is amended by
  adding Subchapter E to read as follows:
  SUBCHAPTER E.  PLANT PEST AND DISEASE DETECTION AND SURVEILLANCE
         Sec. 71.201.  DEFINITIONS. In this subchapter:
               (1)  "Cooperative agreement" means an agreement
  described by Section 71.202.
               (2)  "Institution of higher education" has the meaning
  assigned by Section 61.003, Education Code.
               (3)  "Interested parties" include the following
  organizations or a successor organization:
                     (A)  Plains Cotton Growers;
                     (B)  South Texas Cotton and Grain Association;
                     (C)  Texas Citrus Mutual;
                     (D)  Texas Corn Producers;
                     (E)  Texas Farm Bureau;
                     (F)  Texas Grain Sorghum Association; and
                     (G)  Texas Nursery and Landscape Association.
               (4)  "Plant pest and disease detection and
  surveillance" means the full range of activities undertaken to
  detect plant pests and diseases newly introduced to this state or to
  a certain area of this state before a pest or disease becomes
  established or an infestation of a pest or outbreak of a disease
  becomes too large and costly to eradicate or control.  The term
  includes activities undertaken to detect pests and diseases
  affecting specialty crops.
               (5)  "Specialty crop" means a fruit, vegetable, tree
  nut, dried fruit, or nursery crop, including floriculture.
         Sec. 71.202.  COOPERATIVE AGREEMENT. (a)  The department
  shall enter into a cooperative agreement with an institution of
  higher education that agrees to conduct plant pest and disease
  detection and surveillance.
         (b)  In carrying out this section, the department shall
  consult with the State Seed and Plant Board and other interested
  parties.
         Sec. 71.203.  APPLICATION. (a)  An institution of higher
  education may apply to enter into a cooperative agreement by
  submitting to the department an application containing the
  information required by the department.
         (b)  The department shall notify each applicant of the:
               (1)  auditing and reporting requirements that will
  apply to an institution of higher education in connection with the
  use of any money provided by the department to the institution of
  higher education under the cooperative agreement;
               (2)  criteria to be used to ensure that plant pest and
  disease detection and surveillance conducted under the cooperative
  agreement are based on sound scientific data or risk assessments;
  and
               (3)  required means of identifying pathways of pest and
  disease introduction.
         Sec. 71.204.  USE OF FUNDS. (a)  An institution of higher
  education shall use any money received under a cooperative
  agreement to carry out plant pest and disease detection and
  surveillance approved by the department to prevent the introduction
  or spread of plant pests and diseases.
         (b)  The non-state share of the cost of carrying out a
  cooperative agreement may be provided in-kind, including by
  covering certain indirect costs the department considers
  appropriate.
         (c)  The department may not consider an applicant's ability
  to pay or cover non-state costs when deciding whether to enter into
  a cooperative agreement with the applicant.
         Sec. 71.205.  SPECIAL FUNDING CONSIDERATIONS. The
  department shall provide money to an institution of higher
  education to carry out plant pest and disease detection and
  surveillance under a cooperative agreement if the department
  determines that:
               (1)  the institution of higher education is in a region
  of this state that has a high risk of being affected by one or more
  plant pests or diseases based on:
                     (A)  the region's conduciveness to agricultural
  pest and disease establishment due to location, agricultural
  commodities produced, climate, crop diversity, or natural
  resources; or
                     (B)  the department's determination that an
  agricultural pest or disease in the region is a state or federal
  concern; and
               (2)  the plant pest and disease detection and
  surveillance supported by the money will likely:
                     (A)  prevent the introduction, establishment, or
  widespread dissemination of plant pests and diseases; and
                     (B)  provide a comprehensive approach to
  complement federal and state plant pest and disease detection
  efforts.
         Sec. 71.206.  REPORTING REQUIREMENTS. An institution of
  higher education that conducts a plant pest and disease detection
  and surveillance activity using money provided under this
  subchapter shall, not later than the 90th day after the date the
  activity is completed, submit to the department a report describing
  the purposes and results of the activity.
         Sec. 71.207.  THREAT IDENTIFICATION AND MITIGATION PROGRAM.
  (a)  The department shall establish a threat identification and
  mitigation program to determine and address threats to the domestic
  production of crops, including specialty crops.
         (b)  Under the program, the department shall:
               (1)  develop risk assessments for potential threats
  from foreign sources to the agricultural industry of this state;
               (2)  describe the status of plant pests and diseases
  present or established in this state and management strategies
  currently employed to contain the spread of those pests and
  diseases;
               (3)  collaborate with the State Seed and Plant Board
  and interested parties; and
               (4)  implement action plans to assist in preventing the
  introduction and widespread dissemination of new or highly
  consequential plant pests and diseases in this state.
         (c)  Not later than September 1 of each year, the department
  shall submit to the committees of the senate and house of
  representatives with primary jurisdiction over agriculture and
  rural affairs a report on the action plans described by this
  section, including an accounting of money spent in connection with
  those plans.
         SECTION 2.  This Act takes effect September 1, 2021.
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