okPORK's Roy Lee Lindsey Optimistic About Current Legislative Session's Ongoing Committee WorkThu, 21 Feb 2019 22:56:06 CST
With just one week left for committee work this session, legislators are racing to pare down the some 2,800 bills submitted for consideration into a number much more manageable. The Oklahoma Pork Council is working with bills protecting herd health such as the one involving plate waste, updating old statutes, labeling laws in relation to trade, and working on issues with feral hog population. Radio Oklahoma Ag Network Associate Farm Director Carson Horn got an update on the lawmaking progress from OPC Executive Director Roy Lee Lindsey.
“So far, we’ve been able to advance the legislation that we need advanced and most of the stuff we thought was bad for the Pork Industry so far has not advanced,” comments Lindsey. “We’re hoping by next Thursday we can wipe our brow a bit and knuckle down on the stuff we really need to get passed.”
One bill being heard on the production process would require lab cultured proteins to be labeled as meat unless they are from a live animal. Another involves labeling issues with conventionally produced vs. cage-free/organic variety eggs and the availability for folks on government programs.
“Not a lot of movement to date on issues that would deal with the Ag Sales Tax Exemption,” said Lindsey. “Managing taxes, managing ad valorem, maintaining our sales tax exemption are critical for our ability to be profitable long term.”
Thankfully the members of all the different agriculture groups work together to watch and keep each other in the loop on anything that might be detrimental to agri-business.
Almost 80 members have two years experience or less in the House of Representatives; 46 new faces just this year. A significant number are more urban and somewhat of an urban/rural divide could materialize. Agriculture is still the second largest economic driver in the state, so Lindsey and others in the pork industry are reaching out and educating them on how agriculture affects everyone – emphasizing the fact that we all eat.
“I’m excited to see what the future holds,” Lindsey stated. “I’ve been really impressed with Governor Stitt's efforts to get out of the office, meet with state agencies, and learn what’s going on.”
Lindsey mentioned how Gov. Stitt specifically talked about the Oklahoma Youth Expo and the importance it plays in developing our kids and supporting folks out in rural Oklahoma. Click or tap the LISTEN BAR below to hear Lindsey and Horn talk more about what lies ahead on the OPC agenda during 2019 including the Pork & Cork wine dinner on March 27, 2019.
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