MISSISSIPPI LEGISLATURE

2006 Regular Session

To: Agriculture

By: Senator(s) Hyde-Smith, Lee (35th)

Senate Bill 2873

(As Sent to Governor)

AN ACT TO AMEND SECTIONS 69-9-5 and 69-9-6, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, TO CLARIFY DISBURSEMENT OF SOYBEAN PROMOTION FUNDS; TO PROVIDE THAT AGREEMENTS SHALL BE REMITTED TO A FOUNDATION AS THE SOYBEAN PROMOTION BOARD DEEMS NECESSARY TO ENSURE THAT THE ASSESSMENTS ARE USED TO PROMOTE THE SOYBEAN INDUSTRY; AND FOR RELATED PURPOSES.

BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MISSISSIPPI:

SECTION 1. Section 69-9-5, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:

69-9-5. (1) There is imposed and levied an assessment at the rate of One Cent (1) per bushel on all soybeans grown within the State of Mississippi, and such assessment shall be deducted by the purchaser from the amount paid the producer at the first point of sale, whether within or without the state. Assessments on soybeans put under loan to the Commodity Credit Corporation or purchased by the Commodity Credit Corporation and delivered to it shall be payable when such soybeans are placed under loan or are purchased. The Commodity Credit Corporation may require deduction and payment of the assessment from the loan proceeds or from the purchase price on the behalf of the producer. Assessments on soybeans put under loan to the Commodity Credit Corporation and redeemed by the producer before the takeover date, if already paid by having been deducted from the loan proceeds, shall not be deducted by each handler from the amount paid the producer at the first point of sale as provided in this section; otherwise, the assessment shall be deducted. Any soybean producer may request and receive a refund of the amount of assessment deducted from the sale of his soybeans provided he makes a written application with the Department of Agriculture and Commerce within sixty (60) days from date of sale, supported by bona fide copies of sales slips signed by the purchaser. The application forms shall be prepared by the Department of Agriculture and Commerce and shall be available at the first point of sale. All such applications shall be processed and refunds paid by the Department of Agriculture and Commerce within sixty (60) days after the funds have been received by the department. Each marketing agency shall be furnished a poster to be displayed in a prominent place, stating that refunds are available and forms to be used, including self-addressed envelopes, are available at its office.

(2) The assessment imposed and levied by this section shall be payable to and collected by the Department of Agriculture and Commerce, hereafter referred to as "the department," from the purchaser of such soybeans at the first point of sale or from the Commodity Credit Corporation as provided in subsection (1) of this section. The proceeds of the assessment collected by the department shall be deposited * * * with the State Treasurer in a special fund, known as the "Mississippi Soybean Promotion Fund," and promptly remitted to the Mississippi State University Foundation under the terms and conditions as the Soybean Promotion Board deems necessary to ensure that the assessments are used properly in carrying out the purposes of this chapter. The State Fiscal Officer is authorized to issue warrants for the payment of monies from the Mississippi Soybean Promotion Fund upon requisition by the Commissioner of Agriculture and Commerce, or his designee, for refunds to producers as provided under subsection (1) of this section.

(3) The department shall * * * pay over to the Mississippi Soybean Promotion Fund the funds collected, less three and one-half percent (3-1/2%) of the gross amount collected. The payments to the Mississippi Soybean Promotion Board * * * shall be accompanied by a complete report of all funds collected and disbursed.

(4) Each purchaser or the Commodity Credit Corporation shall keep a complete and accurate record of all soybeans handled by him and shall furnish each producer with a signed sales slip showing the number of bushels purchased from him and the amount deducted by him for the Mississippi Soybean Promotion Fund. Such records shall be in such form and contain such other information as the department shall by rule or regulation prescribe. The records shall be preserved by the purchaser for a period of two (2) years and shall be offered for inspection at any time upon oral or written demand by the department or any duly authorized agent or representative thereof. Every purchaser or the Commodity Credit Corporation, at such time or times as the department may require, shall submit reports or other documentary information deemed necessary for the efficient and equitable collection of the assessment imposed in this chapter. The department shall have the power to cause any duly authorized agent or representative to enter upon the premises of any purchaser of soybeans and examine or cause to be examined by such agent only books, papers and records which deal in any way with the payment of the assessment or enforcement of the provisions of this chapter.

SECTION 2. Section 69-9-6, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:

69-9-6. (1) The Department of Agriculture and Commerce is authorized to collect the assessment created by the Soybean Promotion, Research and Consumer Information Act administered by the United States Department of Agriculture on behalf of the Mississippi Soybean Promotion Board.

(2) The department shall * * * pay over to the Mississippi Soybean Promotion Fund * * *, as established in Section 69-9-5, all funds collected under * * * this section * * *. The State Fiscal Officer is authorized to issue warrants for the payment of monies from the proceeds of this fund upon requisition by the Mississippi Commissioner of Agriculture and Commerce, or his designee, in accordance with federal statutes governing this section.

(3) The Mississippi Department of Agriculture and Commerce shall submit to the Soybean Promotion Board a budget detailing and justifying the administrative costs of the department in administering the provisions of this chapter, and such budget must be approved by the Soybean Promotion Board by April 1 of each year. The department is further authorized to retain an amount not to exceed three and one-half percent (3-1/2%) of the funds collected under the provisions of this section as administrative fees. The amount retained by the department must be approved by the Soybean Promotion Board by July 1 of each year. This amount may be retained from any funds collected on behalf of the Soybean Promotion Board, including those collected under the provisions of Section 69-9-5.

(4) The board shall make a report of all income and expenditures made annually and provide copies of such report to the department.

SECTION 3. This act shall take effect and be in force from and after its passage.