Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Court assembled, and by the authority of the same as follows:
SECTION 1. Section 48 of chapter 10 of the General Laws, as appearing in the 2012 Official Edition, is hereby amended by striking out, in line 4, the words “twenty of chapter twenty” and inserting in place thereof the following words:- 13B of chapter 128.
SECTION 2. Said section 48 of said chapter 10, as so appearing, is hereby further amended by striking out, in line 7, the word “twenty” and inserting in place thereof the following figure:- 13B.
SECTION 3. Section 13B of chapter 128 of the General Laws, as so appearing, is hereby amended by striking out, in line 1, the first time it appears, the word “The” and inserting in place thereof the following word:- (a) The.
SECTION 4. Said section 13B of said chapter 128, as so appearing, is hereby further amended by striking out the second paragraph and inserting in place thereof the following 2 subsections:-
(b) The commissioner may suspend the collection of payments made under subsection (a) from time to time as the commissioner determines to be in the best interests of the producers affected by this section and section 13A; provided, that the balance of the fund shall not be less than $1,000,000; and provided further, that the commissioner shall consider the quantity of milk covered by the fund and the current price levels for milk when making the determination. The commissioner shall provide 30 days written notice of any suspension or reinstatement of payments into the fund to the house and senate committees on ways and means and to all dealers and producers affected.
(c) Notwithstanding section 13A, a milk producer who pays into the fund under subsection (a) may, after the milk producer’s application is approved by the commissioner, be reimbursed up to an amount equal to the monies paid by the applicant into the fund minus any funds previously distributed to said applicant plus a pro rata share of the interest earned by the fund. The commissioner shall establish criteria for the approval of the applications, the criteria shall include, but shall not be limited to: whether the milk producer continues to produce milk; whether the milk producer has joined a cooperative association; and other criteria the commissioner deems relevant. The commissioner shall not authorize a reimbursement if payment of that reimbursement would result in the balance of the fund falling below $1,000,000. Upon approval of an application, the commissioner shall certify the amount due to the milk producer and transmit the certified amount for payment to the state treasurer under section 48 of chapter 10.
Approved, December 30, 2013.