The Missouri Farm Bureau is speaking out against the Missouri County Planning Act.
Senate Bill 5 has cleared the Senate and is now in the House Rules Committee, where it’s likely to stay for the remainder of session. The bill has gone from the Senate to the House Ways and Means Committee, from there to the Rules Committee. With only four days left to pass bills in the General Assembly, it’s chances for passage are slim.
However, Farm Bureau president Charlie Kruse says the legislation would take away choices that are better left to the voting public.
The bill would allow certain county planning and zoning issues to be taken up and approved by a county commission rather than first going to a vote of the people.
"If 51 percent of the votes approved it," he says, then the Farm Bureau supports that. Skipping that vital step, he says, is not OK.
Kruse says the Senate vote was mostly split among rural versus urban senators … he thinks concerns in the House are similar. In a countywide vote, urban voters can often outnumber its rural citizens. The bill would first affect more than 40 counties (those with more than a $200 million assessed valuation tally), but in its final stage, it would affect more than 80, he says.
The bill was proposed and failed last year. Kruse says the Farm Bureau’s opinion is that proposed planning on a countywide scale should be up to the vote of the residents, not two county commissioners … that it’s a fundamental right of the American people.
View the current version of the legislation here, SB 5 .