S 457

112th CONGRESS
1st Session

S. 457

To allow modified bloc voting by cooperative associations of milk producers in connection with a referendum on Federal milk marketing order reform.

IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES

March 2, 2011

Mrs. GILLIBRAND introduced the following bill; which was read twice and referred to the Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry


A BILL

To allow modified bloc voting by cooperative associations of milk producers in connection with a referendum on Federal milk marketing order reform.

    Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,

SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.

    This Act may be cited as the `Democracy for Dairy Producers Act of 2011'.

SEC. 2. MODIFIED BLOC VOTING.

    (a) In General- Notwithstanding paragraph (12) of section 8c of the Agricultural Adjustment Act (7 U.S.C. 608c), reenacted with amendments by the Agricultural Marketing Agreement Act of 1937, in the case of the referendum conducted as part of the consolidation of Federal milk marketing orders and related reforms under section 143 of the Agricultural Market Transition Act (7 U.S.C. 7253), a cooperative association of milk producers may not elect to hold a vote on behalf of its members as authorized by that paragraph, unless the cooperative association provides to each producer, on behalf of which the cooperative association is expressing approval or disapproval, at the time a producer joins the cooperative association and annually thereafter, written notice that contains--

      (1) information regarding the procedures by which a producer may cast an individual ballot;

      (2) contact information for the milk marketing order information clearinghouse described in subsection (b) and procedures to be added to a notification list described in subsection (c); and

      (3) information about a point of contact within the cooperative association to inquire regarding the manner in which the cooperative association intends to vote on behalf of the membership.

    (b) Information Clearinghouse- Each milk marketing order shall establish a information clearinghouse on referendums on Federal milk marketing order reform that includes--

      (1) information on procedures by which a producer may cast an individual ballot;

      (2) due dates for each specific referendum;

      (3) the text of each referendum question under consideration; and

      (4) a description in plain language of the question and relevant background information.

    (c) Notification List for Upcoming Referendum- Each Federal milk marketing order shall--

      (1) make available the information described in subsection (b) through a Web site; and

      (2) distribute to each producer an alert on each upcoming referendum through a fax list, email distribution list, or United States mail list, as elected by each producer individually.

    (d) Tabulation of Ballots- At the time at which ballots from a vote under subsection (a) are tabulated by the Secretary, the Secretary shall adjust the vote of a cooperative association to reflect individual votes submitted by producers that are members of, stockholders in, or under contract with, the cooperative association.

END