The agriculture industry is not alone in heavily opposing the Newsom administration’s plan to overhaul the state mill assessment, which levies fees on pesticide sales to fund the Department of Pesticide Regulation. The Household and Commercial Products Association is also calling for stakeholder discussion on this spending, according to policy advocate Nicole Quiñonez.
“We have serious concerns with growing the department’s budget by 40% without including any accountability measures,” said Quiñonez during a budget subcommittee hearing on the provisions last week.
Sales on non-agricultural pesticide products account for 50% of the annual mill revenue.
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“The vast majority of the funds today and in the proposed increase will go to ag programs,” she said. “In two years, we anticipate being back here and asked to pay 50% of the staff in the increased budget."
While Senate Democrats have rejected the overhaul, their ag budget proposal would still use taxpayer dollars to cover two years of funding for the staff and programs that would have been supported by the mill increase. Those programs would promote integrated pest management, support county ag commissioners, expand the department’s air monitoring network and engage with environmental justice communities.
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