HJR 5: Opposing imposition of a milk tax on Alaskans.

00 HOUSE JOINT RESOLUTION NO. 5 01 Opposing imposition of a milk tax on Alaskans. 02 BE IT RESOLVED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF ALASKA: 03 WHEREAS Alaska residents consume more milk, cheese, butter, yogurt, and other 04 dairy products than Alaska dairy farmers are able to produce, making Alaska a "milk-deficit" 05 state; and 06 WHEREAS, because of their milk-deficit status, the United States Congress wisely 07 excluded Alaska, Hawaii, and Puerto Rico from the mandatory dairy promotion assessment or 08 "milk tax" of the Dairy Production Stabilization Act of 1983; and 09 WHEREAS this exemption was maintained in the Farm Security and Rural 10 Investment Act of 2002; and 11 WHEREAS the National Milk Producers Federation and other dairy interests in the 12 lower 48 states want to extend the milk tax to Alaska dairy farmers; and 13 WHEREAS the milk tax would require Alaska dairy farmers to pay into the national 14 dairy promotion program that presently benefits only the lower 48 states and does nothing to 15 help Alaska dairy farmers or consumers; and 16 WHEREAS Alaska dairy farmers and consumers cannot benefit from the various

01 dairy promotion, advertising, and research programs funded by the milk tax imposed on milk 02 marketed by dairy farmers in the lower 48 states; and 03 WHEREAS the mandatory dairy promotion assessment would constitute an onerous, 04 costly, and unacceptable new milk tax on all Alaskans, including dairy farmers, consumers, 05 school children, day care centers, residents of rural Alaska, Alaska Natives, small businesses, 06 and others who would be forced to pay more for milk and dairy products that already are 07 among the most expensive in the nation; and 08 WHEREAS the federal court of appeals, in Cochran v. Veneman, 359 F.3d 263 (3d 09 Cir. 2004), recently held that the Dairy Production Stabilization Act of 1983 violated the first 10 amendment free speech and associational rights of two independent dairy farmers by 11 compelling them to subsidize private speech with which they disagree; 12 BE IT RESOLVED that the Alaska State Legislature strongly condemns and 13 resolutely opposes imposition of the milk tax on Alaskans. 14 COPIES of this resolution shall be sent to the Honorable George W. Bush, President 15 of the United States; the Honorable Richard B. Cheney, Vice-President of the United States 16 and President of the U.S. Senate; the Honorable Ann M.Veneman, United States Secretary of 17 Agriculture; the Honorable Ted Stevens and the Honorable Lisa Murkowski, U.S. Senators, 18 and the Honorable Don Young, U.S. Representative, members of the Alaska delegation in 19 Congress.