Legislative Analyst's Office

Analysis of the 2001-02 Budget Bill

Department of Food and Agriculture (8570)

The Department of Food and Agriculture (DFA) operates 21 major facilities—16 agricultural inspection stations, two veterinary laboratories, a chemistry and plant pest diagnostic laboratory, and two out-of-state pest laboratories in Arizona and Hawaii. The Governor's budget proposes $21.9 million—$21.2 million from the General Fund and $0.7 million from the State Highway Account (SHA) of the State Transportation Fund—for:

Hawaii Medfly Rearing Facility

We withhold recommendation on $0.5 million for preliminary plans pending a decision by the Legislature on the continuation of the Medfly Preventive Release program.

The Governor's budget proposes $539,000 for preliminary plans for a 24,000 gross square feet (gsf) sterile medfly rearing facility and 12,000 gsf storage facility adjacent to the existing rearing facility in Hawaii.

The medfly preventive release program began in 1996 and involves raising and releasing sterile medflies in the Los Angeles Basin. Total program costs are $15 million shared equally between the state and federal government. When the program was approved by the Legislature, the program was to operate for five years (through 2000-01) at which time the program need and effectiveness would be evaluated and a report submitted to the Legislature in March 2001. We withhold recommendation on this proposal pending the department's report to the Legislature on the program's effectiveness.

Relocation: Truckee Agricultural Inspection Station

We recommend the Legislature shift $3.5 million of the $11.2 million requested from the General Fund for construction of the Truckee inspection station to the State Highway Account because the improvements to be funded by this amount are for the benefit of the state highway system. (Delete $3.5 million from Item 8570-301-0001(3) and add Item
8570-301-0042(2) in the same amount.)

The Governor's budget includes $11.2 million to construct a new agricultural inspection station on property near the existing California Highway Patrol truck inspection station in Truckee, Placer County. The new station will consist of an 8,375 gsf inspection structure and a stand-alone 6,840 gsf truck inspection and detention building. Site work includes utilities, paving, a septic system, and emergency generator. The new station will have increased capacity, and its location avoids the current station's problem of bypass roads that could be used by motorists to avoid inspection. The new station is located within the right-of-way of Interstate 80 and its construction is therefore subject to requirements of the Department of Transportation (Caltrans).

The 2000-01 Governor's Budget proposed $533,000 from the General Fund for working drawings for this project and recognized future construction cost of $10.9 million. The Department of General Services (DGS) estimated $3.4 million of this amount was attributable to improvements required by Caltrans for the benefit of the state highway system and $7.5 million to the functions of the DFA agricultural inspection station. The Legislature recognized this division of the benefits of the project and appropriated a proportional $380,000 from the General Fund and $153,000 from the SHA for working drawings in the 2000-01 Budget Act. The Legislature also adopted supplemental report language recognizing future construction cost of the project of $10.9 million—$7.5 million from the General Fund and $3.4 million from the SHA. With allowance for inflation, the construction cost proposed in the Governor's budget is $11.2 million, of which $3.5 million should be funded from the SHA. Therefore, we recommend the Legislature shift $3.5 million from the General Fund proposal and increase the department's SHA proposal by the same amount.

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