Two big agriculture bills that were vetoed by Governor Jay Nixon (D) because they would have changed who regulates captive deer, had other provisions he liked. The state legislature will decide next month whether to overturn his vetoes.
The bills would have placed captive deer under the regulation of the Department of Agriculture rather the Conservation Department. Backers of the captive deer industry don’t like new rules Conservation planned to apply to such operations.
State Agriculture Director Richard Fordyce says his department doesn’t want to take over captive white tail regulation.
“Our stance at the Missouri Department of Agriculture is that the Missouri Department of Conservation is the state agency that manages the white tail deer population,” says Fordyce.
There are other parts of those bills that he says would benefit agriculture, such as pieces that would benefit the dairy industry and to enact a state beef referendum. He says his legislative staff would seek to work with lawmakers to save those, if the veto stands.
“Maybe fast-track some of that legislation in the next legislative session,” says Fordyce.
Some watching the situation note that both Departments fall within the Nixon Administration, and say that means the Agriculture Department would likely enact the same rules as Conservation, that the captive deer industry object to.
Fordyce says he doesn’t know whether lawmakers are leaning toward, or against, attempting veto overrides.
Some supporters of the changes to deer regulations say they believe there are enough votes in both the state House and state Senate for overrides.