LeeAnna McNally with Oklahoma Farm Bureau Calls Legislative Session a Success- Video AddedMon, 16 Jun 2014 06:01:34 CDT
Overall Oklahoma Farm Bureau is pleased with the outcome of the 2014 Legislative session. LeeAnna McNally, Director of National Affairs for Oklahoma Farm Bureau sat down with Farm Director Ron Hays to talk about this year's session. We have the audio conversation that LeeAnna had with Ron- and we also now have the video from the conversation they had on Saturday morning during his regular In the Field segment on KWTV, News9 in OKlahoma City. Click on the Play button in the video box below to see their segment. And under the video box- read more and click on the LISTEN BAR to hear their separate audio interview.
Among the highlights include legislation to protect private property rights, the Drought Proof Communities Act by Senator Mike Schulz and the Gross Production Tax Bill introduced by Senator Bryce Marlatt and Speaker Jeffrey Hickman.
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"Our members are very excited about that because believe it or our not a lot of the landowners are also mineral owners too and gross production taxes is a big issue for them," McNally said.
The home office tax credit was also very helpful. McNally says Farm Bureau received close to a $1 million dollar tax credit.
"We put that as an organization back into our benefits for our county secretaries, of course we have over 120 offices across the state," McNally said. "In order to maintain a competitive business employment package, those funds are very important to us and to our county secretaries and their families."
One disappointment of the legislative session was the failure to pass the "Right to Farm Amendment". McNally says this is one piece of legislation that Farm Bureau will push for in the 2015 legislative session.
"It's rare that everyone gets everything exactly how they planned through a session, so we're going back and we're working on that bill, receiving some more input from our membership and what they really want to see and looking at the language of that bill, but I assume it will be coming up in the near future," McNally said.
On a national level, Oklahoma Farm Bureau is watching several key issues, like the 'Waters of the US" proposal released by the Environmental Protection Agency and the Army Crops of Engineers.
"Its just amazing to our members the bureaucracy that's going on at the national level and environmental over reach from the Environmental Protection Agency," McNally said.
"Of Course Farm Bureau maintains the Clean Waters Act is designed to regulate navigable waters and that's it," she said. "That shouldn't reach to water in the ditches. that shouldn't reach to pools, that shouldn't reach to ponds or even excess water that came from heavy rainfall in eastern Oklahoma."
"The rules were not designed for the EPA to have jurisdiction every body, every drop of rain that comes down and hits the grounds, so our members are very concerned about it frankly and they are submitting comments to the EPA to ask them to pull the rule," McNally said.
Currently the proposed rule is in a public comment period. The public can find tools from the American Farm Bureau Federation by clicking here.
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