House File 700 - IntroducedA Bill ForAn Act 1establishing a dairy innovation fund and program to
2be administered by the department of agriculture and land
3stewardship.
4BE IT ENACTED BY THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF THE STATE OF IOWA:
1   Section 1.  NEW SECTION.  159.31A  Dairy innovation fund and
2program.
   31.  As used in this section unless the context otherwise
4requires:
   5a.  “Financial assistance” means assistance provided only
6from the moneys and assets legally available to the department
7pursuant to this section and includes assistance in the form of
8grants, low-interest loans, and forgivable loans.
   9b.  “Fund” means the dairy innovation fund.
   10c.  “Located in” means the place or places at which
11a business’s operations are located and where at least
12ninety-eight percent of the business’s employees work, or where
13employees that are paid at least ninety-eight percent of the
14business’s payroll work.
   15d.  “Program” means the dairy innovation program.
   162.  a.  The fund is created in the state treasury under
17the control of the department and consists of any moneys
18appropriated to the fund by the general assembly and any other
19moneys available to or obtained or accepted by the department
20for placement in the fund. Moneys in the fund are appropriated
21to the department to award financial assistance as provided
22under the program. The department shall use any moneys
23specifically appropriated for purposes of this section only for
24the purposes of the program.
   25b.  Notwithstanding section 8.33, moneys in the fund
26that remain unencumbered or unobligated at the close of the
27fiscal year shall not revert but shall remain available for
28expenditure for the purposes designated until the close of the
29succeeding fiscal year.
   303.  The department shall establish and administer the
31program for the purpose of awarding financial assistance to
32eligible businesses engaged in projects that do one or more of
33the following:
   34a.  Expand or refurbish existing milk plants or establish a
35new milk plant, operating pursuant to a permit issued pursuant
-1-1to section 192.111.
   2b.  Expand or refurbish existing mobile dairy processing
3units, or establish new mobile dairy processing units.
   4c.  Rent buildings, refrigeration facilities, freezer
5facilities, or equipment necessary to expand dairy processing
6capacity, including mobile dairy or refrigeration units used
7exclusively for dairy processing.
   8d.  Incorporate methods and technologies that reduce farm
9labor associated with milk production and storage, including
10but not limited to the use of robotics and processes or systems
11that operate using computerized equipment or machinery.
   124.  The department shall establish eligibility criteria for
13the program by rule. The eligibility criteria must include all
14of the following:
   15a.  The business must be located in this state.
   16b.  The business must not have been subject to any regulatory
17enforcement action related to federal, state, or local
18environmental, worker safety, food processing, or food safety
19laws, rules, or regulations within the last five years.
   20c.  The business must only employ individuals legally
21authorized to work in this state.
   22d.  The business must not currently be in bankruptcy.
   23e.  The business must employ less than fifty individuals.
   245.  A business seeking financial assistance under this
25section shall make application to the department in the manner
26prescribed by the department by rule.
   276.  Applications shall be accepted during one or more annual
28application periods to be determined by the department by
29rule. Upon reviewing and scoring all applications that are
30received during an application period, and subject to funding,
31the department may award financial assistance to eligible
32businesses. A financial assistance award shall not exceed
33the amount of eligible project costs included in the eligible
34business’s application. Priority shall be given to eligible
35businesses whose proposed project under subsection 3 will do
-2-1any of the following:
   2a.  Create new jobs.
   3b.  Create or expand opportunities for local small-scale milk
4producers to market pasteurized milk and milk products under
5private labels.
   6c.  Provide greater flexibility or convenience for local
7small-scale farmers to have milk processed.
   8d.  Reduce labor associated with the on-farm production and
9storage of milk.
   107.  A business that is awarded financial assistance under
11this section may apply for financial assistance under other
12programs administered by the authority.
   138.  The department shall adopt rules pursuant to chapter 17A
14to administer this section.
15   Sec. 2.  DIRECTIONS TO CODE EDITOR — NEW PART.  The Code
16editor is directed to organize section 159.31A, as enacted in
17this Act, as a new part under chapter 159, subchapter II.
18EXPLANATION
19The inclusion of this explanation does not constitute agreement with
20the explanation’s substance by the members of the general assembly.
   21This bill establishes a dairy innovation fund (fund) and
22dairy innovation program (program) to be administered by the
23department of agriculture and land stewardship (DALS).
   24The bill creates the fund in the state treasury under the
25control of DALS, which consists of any moneys appropriated to
26the fund by the general assembly and any other moneys available
27to DALS for placement in the fund. Moneys in the fund are
28appropriated to provide financial assistance (assistance) as
29provided under the program. “Financial assistance” is defined
30to include assistance in the form of grants, low-interest
31loans, and forgivable loans.
   32DALS must use any moneys specifically appropriated to the
33program only for purposes of supporting the program. The
34appropriated moneys that remain unencumbered or unobligated
35at the close of the fiscal year do not revert but remain
-3-1available for expenditure for the program until the close of
2the succeeding fiscal year.
   3DALS must establish and administer the program for the
4purpose of awarding assistance to eligible businesses for
5projects that expand or refurbish an existing, or establish
6a new, milk plant; expand or refurbish an existing, or
7establish a new, mobile dairy processing unit; rent buildings,
8refrigeration facilities, freezer facilities, or equipment
9necessary to expand processing capacity, including mobile dairy
10or refrigeration units; or incorporate methods and technologies
11that reduce farm labor associated with milk production and
12storage.
   13DALS must establish eligibility criteria for the program
14by rule, and the criteria must include the requirements
15detailed in the bill. A business seeking assistance under the
16program must make application to DALS in the manner prescribed
17by DALS by rule. Applications must be accepted during one
18or more annual application periods determined by DALS by
19rule. After reviewing and scoring all applications received
20during an application period, and subject to funding, DALS
21may award assistance to eligible businesses. A financial
22assistance award cannot exceed the amount of eligible project
23costs included in an eligible business’s application. The
24bill requires that priority be given to eligible businesses
25whose proposed project will create new jobs; create or
26expand opportunities for local small-scale milk producers
27to market pasteurized milk and milk products under private
28labels; provide greater flexibility or convenience for local
29small-scale farmers to have milk processed; and reduce labor
30associated with the on-farm production and storage of milk.
   31DALS is required to adopt rules to administer the fund and
32program.
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