Upon the petition and approval of California dairy producers in the manner provided in section 608c of this title, the Secretary shall designate the State of California as a separate Federal milk marketing order. The order covering California shall have the right to reblend and distribute order receipts to recognize quota value. Subsection (b) does not apply to the authority of the Secretary under this subsection.
The Secretary shall announce the proposed amendments to be made under subsection (a) not later than 2 years after April 4, 1996.
The Secretary shall implement the amendments not later than 3 years after April 4, 1996.
The actions authorized by this subsection are intended to ensure the timely publication and implementation of new and amended Federal milk marketing orders. In the event that the Secretary is enjoined or otherwise restrained by a court order from publishing or implementing the consolidation and related reforms under subsection (a), the length of time for which that injunction or other restraining order is effective shall be added to the time limitations specified in paragraph (2) thereby extending those time limitations by a period of time equal to the period of time for which the injunction or other restraining order is effective.
If the Secretary fails to implement the consolidation required under subsection (a)(1) within the time period required under subsection (b)(2)(B) (plus any additional period provided under subsection (b)(3)), the Secretary may not assess or collect assessments from milk producers or handlers under such section 608c of this title for marketing order administration and services provided under such section after the end of that period until the consolidation is completed. The Secretary may not reduce the level of services provided under the section on account of the prohibition against assessments, but shall rather cover the cost of marketing order administration and services through funds available for the Agricultural Marketing Service of the Department.