Right to Farm Proposal Advances at State CapitolThu, 12 Mar 2015 09:35:00 CDT
The Oklahoma House of Representatives has advanced the so called "Right to Farm" Ballot Initiative by a 90 to 6 margin. The proposal now heads to the Senate and if approved by both the House and the Senate would send to a vote of the people a measure that would put into the state constitution the right of the citizens of Oklahoma to farm and ranch using agricultural technology and livestock production and ranching practices- and it would prohibit the Legislature from passing any law that would "abridge" that right.
After the vote- the Oklahoma Farm Bureau thanked the Oklahoma House of Representatives for passing HJR 1012.
"Agriculture is of vital importance to our state and our nation, not just as a major economic driver, but also as a matter of national security," said John Collison, OKFB's vice president of public policy and communications. "We thank the house for taking the first step in passing this joint resolution, which would ultimately allow Oklahomans to ensure a future for an industry that is vital to our state."
Collison added that the group thanks Rep. Scott Biggs for authoring the resolution, and urges the senate to take up and pass HJR 1092.
The actual language that would be voted on by the people would read something like:
This measure adds a new section of law to the State Constitution. It adds Section 38 to Article 2. It protects the rights of citizens and lawful residents of Oklahoma to engage in farming and ranching practices. It prohibits the Legislature from passing laws that would take away the right to employ agricultural technology and livestock production without a compelling state interest. It provides for interpretation of the section.
"Shall the Proposal be Approved?
"For the Propsoal- Yes ________
"Against the Proposal- No _______"
A similar measure passed the state House and the State Senate in 2014, but the language between the two measures were different and the porposal died in the last legislative session because the two versions were never reconciled.
A ballot proposal similar to this effort was put to a vote of the people in Missouri- and it narrowly passed in the fall of 2014. Agricultural leaders in Oklahoma aknowledge that it will take substantial resources to win a similar fight in Oklahoma at some point in the future.
Click here for the Missouri website of the coalition that supported their Amendment One.
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