A. Established. There is a Maryland Dairy Industry Oversight and Advisory Council.
B. Membership. The membership of the Advisory Council shall be comprised of the following:
(1) Voting Members.
(a) The Council shall consist of up to 15 voting members with interest and expertise in the dairy industry who are appointed by the Governor.
(b) The members of the Council serve at the pleasure of the Governor for up to 2 consecutive 3-year terms.
(c) From among the voting members of the Council, the Governor shall designate a Chairperson.
(2) Non-Voting Members. The following may serve in an advisory, non-voting capacity:
(a) One member of the Senate, appointed by President of the Senate;
(b) One member of the House of Delegates, appointed by the Speaker of the House;
(c) One representative of the Department of Agriculture, appointed by the Secretary;
(d) One representative of the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, appointed by the Secretary;
(e) One local health officer who is a member of the Maryland Association of County Health Officers, appointed by the Secretary of Health and Mental Hygiene; and
(f) One representative of the Maryland Cooperative Extension, appointed by the Dean of the University of Maryland College of Agriculture and Natural Resources.
C. Staffing. The Department of Agriculture and Department of Health and Mental Hygiene shall jointly provide staff support and resources to the Council, with additional assistance from other State agencies as requested.
(1) The Council shall meet at least four times annually.
(2) A majority of voting members shall constitute a quorum for the transaction of any business before the Commission.
(3) The Chairperson may establish committees and subcommittees and include representatives of interested public and private organizations on committees and subcommittees.
(4) Members of the Council may not receive any compensation for their services. Voting members of the Council may be reimbursed for reasonable expenses incurred in the performance of their duties, in accordance with the Standard State Travel Regulations, and as provided in the State budget.
E. Duties and Responsibilities.
(1) General. The Council shall investigate and identify ways to improve the economic viability of the dairy industry in Maryland.
(2) Specific. The Council shall:
(a) Develop strategies for sustaining Maryland's dairy industry;
(b) Evaluate and review the regulatory structure of the dairy industry;
(c) Review and comment on federal and state regulatory changes impacting the dairy industry;
(d) Identify and comment on quality assurance controls in the dairy industry;
(e) Identify barriers to profitability in the dairy industry;
(f) Identify technological changes affecting the dairy industry;
(g) Encourage and facilitate collaboration among the State agencies responsible for regulating the dairy industry; and
(h) Perform other duties and responsibilities as assigned by the Governor.
F. Reporting. The Council shall report to the Governor by October 1 of each year with recommendations to support a coordinated State strategy for the dairy industry.