The House today defeated HB 1725 to combine
several state agencies under the umbrella of the Arkansas Agriculture Department. The vote was 30-31,
with 13 voting present.
The plan is part of Gov. Asa Hutchinson's
desire to streamline government. Rep. Dan Douglas
said it would all the agencies more efficient. But he acknowledged that the Arkansas Farm Bureau
resisted the consolidation. That's a powerful force.
Agencies affected: Abandoned Pesticide Advisory Board, the Arkansas Forestry Commission, the Arkansas Livestock and Poultry Commission, the State Plant Board, the Arkansas Farm Mediation Office, the Veterinary Medical Examining Board, and the Arkansas State Board of Registration for Foresters to the Arkansas Agriculture Department.
Some members objected to placing regulatory functions under a department that primarily had served as a marketing agency.