An agriculture bill similar to one Governor Jay Nixon vetoed last year is likely to be the first piece of legislation debated on the Senate floor.
Senator Brian Munzlinger is proposing Senate Bill 12 without the deer provision that Governor Nixon said caused him to veto it. Munzlinger decided to file a separate bill with the language from last year that transfers the regulatory control of captive deer from the Department of Conservation to the Department of Agriculture.
Munzlinger thinks this year’s omnibus agriculture bill will pass this time around.
“As we heard the bill last year, the comments around veto session was that if the deer part wasn’t in it, that it would be fast tracked this year,” said Munzlinger. “I’m looking forward to having it on the Senate floor next week and hope to get it over to the House.”
The majority of those at a committee hearing for the bill were in support of the new legislation, but a few groups voiced their concerns on specific issues within the bill.
A Department of Transportation spokesman said MoDOT is worried increased weight limits for trucks carrying produce would destroy Missouri roads and bridges. The department said it will not have the funds to make repairs.
“Based upon the testimony that we had from both the railroad and MoDOT…what we really absolutely need is a harvest waiver and the railroads and MoDOT said OK, we’ll go with that,” said Munzlinger.
Munzlinger added such a waiver to the bill that would allow farmers to carry 10 percent more produce over their license.
A New Zealand grass dairy farmer addressed concerns about the percentage of foreign ownership of agricultural land. Munzlinger says he decided to take that language out of the bill since it was controversial. He plans to file a separate bill for limitations on foreign ownership.
To view the updated agriculture bill Munzlinger made changes to click here.
To view the original agriculture bill Munzlinger filed this year click here.
To view the bill the governor vetoed last year click here.