GOVERNOR SIGNS COTTON CHECKOFF BILL
Cotton Checkoff Bill (HB65) was signed into law by Gov. Don Siegelman Tuesday. The bill had to be signed by the governor before March 20, in order for the Alabama Cotton Commission to include the new rate flexibility clause in its upcoming referendum.
The bill allows changes to be made in the assessment rate (checkoff funds) paid by Alabama cotton producers. The new amount could not exceed $1 per bale. Under existing law, the assessment is limited to 3/10 of 1 percent of the bale value, which is based on the average market price for cotton. The new assessment rate could be determined annually by the Alabama Cotton Commission, however because of depressed prices, the commission has agreed to keep the assessment at last year's level for the 2002 crop year.