Legislative update: spray drift, non-manufactured agricultural products, remote meat inspection, application filing

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The tension was high at 23rd and Lincoln this week with another committee deadline on Thursday, April 14. All bills that passed committee in front of their original chamber will now move forward and can be heard by the full chamber. Conversely, all bills that did not advance – except for those assigned to the House Appropriations and Budget Committee – are now effectively dormant for the remainder of the 2022 legislative session, including nearly a dozen bills unexpectedly introduced in the House.

SB 1261 by Senator Brent Howard and Representative John Pfeiffer deals with medical marijuana spray drift and was one of several medical marijuana bills introduced in the House. Although considered inactive for the session, the language of the bill may be included in other similar statutes. The OKFB will closely monitor any changes to this, as this is a priority issue for many Farm Bureau members.

Senator Brent Howard’s SB 192 removes non-manufactured agricultural commodities, such as stored hay and grain, from the county’s assessment. Despite the busy and emotionally charged week, SB 192 passed the House committee and is now available for consideration by the full House.

The House Agriculture Committee heard again from Sen. David Bullard and Rep. Justin Humphrey’s SB 1110, which would create a United States Department of Agriculture virtual meat inspection pilot program. SB 1110 was laid last week due to potential food safety concerns. The bill was amended this week to instead create a remote meat inspection research program for Oklahoma’s institutes of higher learning. SB 1110 narrowly passed the House Agriculture Committee with an 8-6 vote.

The State Capitol saw a lot of traffic as the nomination period for the upcoming elections was April 13-15. The OKFB will send a full slate of candidates to county agricultural offices in the coming weeks to prepare for the OKFB AgPAC district meetings. Meeting information is available here.

For an update on weekly events on Capitol Hill and a preview of what’s to come, be sure to tune in to OKFB’s weekly public policy update every Friday at noon via Zoom.

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