Referendum Order on Recommended Changes to the Pennsylvania Wine Marketing and Research Program
[44 Pa.B. 1453]
[Saturday, March 15, 2014]
A referendum will be held to vote on recommended changes to the Pennsylvania Wine Marketing and Research Program. In summary, the proposed amendments would: (1) revise the definition of producer to exclude those who neither produce grapes nor wine in Pennsylvania in light of a legal ruling that permits such operations to obtain limited winery licenses; (2) revise producer charges payment options to expressly reflect the monthly payment option currently being offered; (3) provide that sales volume reporting be legally verified by the producer subject to 18 Pa.C.S.A. § 4904; (4) revise the producer charge amount from $.15 to $.20 per gallon. In accordance with the requirements of the Agricultural Commodities Marketing Act, a public hearing was held on December 2, 2013, to hear testimony and consider evidence on the proposed amendments and related matters. By Order of March 3, 2014, this office determined that the proposed amendments tend to effectuate the purposes of the Agricultural Commodities Marketing Act.
I. The Pennsylvania Wine Marketing and Research Program was established under the provisions of the Agricultural Commodities Marketing Act. The Act requires that the Secretary of Agriculture call a referendum of affected producers any time there is a proposed change to the program order. The referendum to be held for the Pennsylvania Wine Marketing and Research Program will determine whether a majority of those voting desire the requested changes.
II. Referendum Period: The referendum period shall be from March 17, 2014, until 4 p.m. on March 31, 2014. Completed ballots shall be mailed or hand-delivered to the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture, Bureau of Market Development, Room 310, 2301 North Cameron Street, Harrisburg, Pennsylvania 17110-9408. Hand-delivered ballots must be received by 4 p.m. on March 31, 2014. Ballots that are mailed must be postmarked no later than March 31, 2014, and received no later than April 4, 2014.
III. Notice of Referendum: This referendum order and an official ballot shall be mailed no later than March 10, 2014, to all affected producers whose names appear on the list of Pennsylvania wine producers maintained in the Office of the Secretary of Agriculture. Additional copies of the same materials shall be made available at the Office of the Secretary of Agriculture.
IV. Eligible Voters: The rules governing the eligibility of a producer for voting are as follows: The record date for determination of whether a producer is eligible to vote is March 10, 2014. Names of affected eligible producers shall be taken from the commodity wine list of producers/sellers maintained in the Office of the Secretary of Agriculture. These names are supplied to the Secretary from the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board. Voting producers must have a Limited Winery License. Producers who hold a Limited Winery License but do not produce grapes or wine in Pennsylvania are not eligible to vote.
V. Counting of Ballots: The ballots will be canvassed and counted by a Teller Committee appointed by the Secretary of Agriculture. The counting of the ballots will begin at 10 a.m., Thursday, April 10, 2014, at the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture, 2301 North Cameron Street, Harrisburg, Pennsylvania 17110. The Secretary will announce the results of the referendum within 30 days following the completion of the referendum period. The results will be published in the Pennsylvania Bulletin and the Harrisburg Patriot-News, and disseminated to the news media.
VI. Reporting Irregularities: Any irregularities or disputes concerning the referendum procedures must be reported in written form to the Secretary of Agriculture not later than seven (7) calendar days from the end of the referendum period.
VII. Publication: This referendum order shall be published in the Pennsylvania Bulletin and the Harrisburg Patriot-News.
VIII. Effective Date: The foregoing order shall be effective immediately.
GEORGE D. GREIG,
[Pa.B. Doc. No. 14-525. Filed for public inspection March 14, 2014, 9:00 a.m.]
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