The sponsor of the legislation taking away abilities of counties to enact health ordinances to control livestock operations is not sure he’ll try it again next year.
Senator Chris Koster of Harrisonville argues that confined animal feeding operations should not have to operate under 114 different sets of county health standards. That’s why he wanted to put regulation of CAFO health issues within the state health department..
Koster thought he had a deal worked out between the Farm Bureau, the Missouri Association of Counties, and state agencies. But the deal blew up as he took the bill to the Senate floor. Parks and historic sites advocates objected. Several counties said the counties association had endorsed the bill without their agreement, and threatened a lawsuit..
Koster says agreement by the Missouri Association of Counties–and its members—is crucial to any effort to revive the bill next year. He says an agreement between the Farm Bureau and MAC would constitute about 80 percent of the political spectrum on the issue. With that, he says, he could take the proposal back to the floor.
He says everybody in the Capitol understands the issues. But he says the players seem dug in with their positions and a deal is not possible. He says the issue might be too much for the legislature to digest, and the more time passes without a deal, the more unlikely there ever will be a deal.
Koster says he’s not sure the formation of a study committee between sessions will do any good.