Section 1 of the bill creates in the department of agriculture the agricultural drought and climate resilience office (office). The office may provide voluntary technical assistance, nonregulatory programs, and incentives that increase the ability to anticipate, prepare for, mitigate, adapt to, and respond to hazardous events, trends, or disturbances related to drought or the climate. The office may accept gifts, grants, and donations for these purposes. On July 1, 2021, the state treasurer shall transfer all unobligated money in the agriculture value-added cash fund to the newly created agriculture drought and climate resiliency cash fund. The commissioner of agriculture shall appoint the head of the office and may promulgate rules necessary for the administration of the office's assistance, programs, and incentives.Except for a program or support administered by the office to address immediate needs as a result of disaster, including wildfire and drought, or a program that was in existence on January 1, 2021:
- A program administered by the office must be designed to benefit bona fide agricultural producers actively engaged in agriculture;
- Grants awarded by the office must pay for implementation of practices to address and mitigate the impacts of climate change or drought or to provide direct adaptation support for impacted agricultural communities; and
- Grants must receive final approval by the state agricultural commission before a final award can be issued.
Section 2 annually transfers $500,000 from tier 2 of the severance tax operational fund to the new cash fund until July 1, 2029.
(Note: Italicized words indicate new material added to the original summary; dashes through words indicate deletions from the original summary.)
(Note: This summary applies to the reengrossed version of this bill as introduced in the second house.)