924.04 Petition for referendum to establish or amend marketing program.

(A) Producers of an Ohio agricultural commodity may present the director of agriculture with a petition signed by the lesser of one thousand or twenty per cent of all such producers requesting that the director hold a referendum in accordance with section 924.06 of the Revised Code to establish a marketing program for that commodity or to amend an existing program.

(B) At the time of presentation of the petition to the director under division (A) of this section, the petitioners also shall present the proposed amendment or a proposed program, which shall include all of the following:

(1) The rate of assessment to be made on the marketable agricultural commodity, which shall not exceed two per cent of the average market price of that agricultural commodity during the preceding marketing year as defined by the United States department of agriculture or, if there is no such definition, by the director;

(2) Terms, conditions, limitations, and other qualifications for assessment;

(3) Procedures to refund the assessment;

(4) Requirements for appointed or elected committees.

(C) Before making a decision under this division to approve or disapprove a proposed program, the director shall publish in at least two appropriate periodicals designated by him a notice that the program or amendment has been proposed and informing interested persons of the procedures for submitting comments regarding the proposal. After publishing the notice, the director shall provide interested persons with a copy of the proposed program or proposed amendment to an existing program and an opportunity to comment on the proposed program or amendment for thirty days after the publication of the notice. The petitioners may make changes to the proposed program or amendment based upon the comments received. The director may make technical changes to the proposal to ensure compliance with sections 924.01 to 924.16 of the Revised Code. Subsequent to any changes made by the petitioners or any technical changes made by the director to a proposed program or amendment to an existing program, the director may approve or disapprove the proposed program or amendment to an existing program.

(D) If the director approves the proposed program or amendment, with any changes made under division (C) of this section, he shall hold a referendum in accordance with section 924.06 of the Revised Code to establish a marketing program for that commodity or to amend an existing program.

Effective Date: 06-20-1994