Right to Farm Authors Celebrate House Vote- and Scott Biggs Vows to Start Yes Campagin QuicklyThu, 30 Apr 2015 06:20:03 CDT
The lead author of the Right to Farm ballot inititative, State Representative Scott Biggs of Chickasha, came to the 89th Annual Convention of the Oklahoma FFA's Legislative/VIP Banquet on Wednesday evening in a great mood after the Oklahoma House gave him a convinvcing final vote on HJR 1012- the so called Right to Farm proposal.
Shortly after he arrived, he talked with Oklahoma Farm Report Farm Director Ron Hays about the three year process of getting to this point where "Oklahomans will be able to help Oklahomans in November 2016 and help protect farming and ranching for future generations."
Biggs told Hays that the measure is designed to protect farming practices as they evolve in the years to come from out of state interests to come in and convince a future legislature from causing harm by limiting or forbidding certain crop production or livestock handling practices from being used in the state- without a compelling state interest.
The exact language of what was voted on Wednesday by the State House can be read in full by clicking here.
The final vote on Wednesday in the Oklahoma House was 85 to 7, similar to the 90 to 6 affirmative vote in the House earlier in the Session. Earlier in April, after adding a couple of amendments, the Senate had overwhelmingly approved the Right to Farm language by a 39 to 6 vote.
Biggs says that with the vote in the House to accept the Senate language- the bill heads to the State Secretary of State and to the Oklahoma Attorney General's office where the acutal language for the ballot will be crafted. The vote is expected to take place in the general election that comes up in November 2016. Higgs says that with the vote on Wednesday- work begins now to organize and win a "Yes Campaign" in about a year and a half.
In addition to State Representative Biggs, we caught up with the Senate author of the measure- Jason Smalley of Stroud- who talked with us about the Senate vote and offers his thoughts on if the amendments offered and accepted will help convince the Oklahoma Municipal League to back away from opposing the ballot initiative. It is expected that the Human Society of the US will lead the opposition to the language that will be on the ballot for the people of Oklahoma to decide upon. How costly the actual campaign will be depends on how aggressive groups like HSUS are in decrying the measure as only helping large corporate faarm operations.
You can hear both interviews- Biggs first followed by Smalley by clicking on the LISTEN BAR below.
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