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Senate Co-Sponsorship Memoranda

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Senate of Pennsylvania
Session of 2015 - 2016 Regular Session


Posted: January 21, 2016 07:05 AM
From: Senator Elder A. Vogel, Jr. and Sen. Ryan P. Aument, Sen. Gene Yaw, Sen. David G. Argall, Sen. Lloyd K. Smucker
To: All Senate members
Subject: Agriculture Supplemental Appropriation

In the near future, we intend to introduce supplemental appropriation legislation that will provide funding for Penn State College of Agricultural Sciences, the Pennsylvania Animal Diagnostic Commission, the Pennsylvania Veterinary Laboratories and a portion of the University of Pennsylvania funding for research.

As you are likely aware, last week a commercial turkey flock in southwestern Indiana was diagnosed with Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (HPAI). This was the first confirmed case of HPAI in 2016 and it represents a real and present danger to the Commonwealth, given how this terrible disease travels, the proximity of the current outbreak to Pennsylvania, and how intensive the poultry industry is in our state.

We cannot just hope that HPAI avoids Pennsylvania, we must deploy adequate resources now – in advance of an outbreak – so that the necessary systems and people can be in place to engage in a response that will minimize the harm that will likely result from HPAI.

These line items, which were specifically vetoed by the Governor, contained additional monies specifically allocated to prepare for and combat HPAI and were carefully included in the 2015-16 state budget so that our Commonwealth is best prepared to meet the challenges of HPAI.

Additionally, the College of Agricultural Sciences entire research and extension services are an integral component of our preparedness for biosecurity events. This important work requires continuity and resources to collaboratively work with our agriculture communities and producers to not only assist with the threat of HPAI, but to provide ongoing services to those who supply our food and fiber.

Please join us in co-sponsoring this extremely important legislation and please contact Michael Rader at mrader@pasen.gov if you require additional information.

Introduced as SB1120