As we transfer into the third week of the 2022 legislative session, each chambers have been busy contemplating laws by means of committee work. The primary deadline of the session is approaching on March 3rd, giving the Oklahoma Home of Representatives and Senate solely two extra weeks to cross new laws out of its assigned committee. Following the March 3rd deadline, each chambers will transfer right into a three-week interval of flooring work.
This 12 months’s session is one which can be marked with a big funds surplus, which has already led to intensive dialogue about what to do with the additional funds. Whereas some state leaders imagine the excess will greatest serve Oklahomans by padding the state’s financial savings account in preparation for tighter fiscal years, others assume it greatest to make use of the excess to extend funding to training, roads and bridges and different state-appropriated functions. Moreover, the excess has the capitol buzzing with speak of eliminating the state’s portion of the grocery gross sales tax in addition to proposals to chop the state’s private and company earnings tax. As Oklahoma Farm Bureau members have lengthy held issues concerning the impact chopping taxes on gross sales and earnings may have on state income, and the worry that income losses can be recouped by growing advert valorem taxes, we’ll proceed partaking in discussions with legislators to make sure the issues of Oklahoma farmers and ranchers are thought-about in laws that impacts state income and taxes.
After an interim marked by constituent concern and criticism over the dearth of regulation within the medical marijuana trade, legislators have wasted no time shifting laws that goals to deal with problems with enforcement and oversight and seeks to present farmers and ranchers extra certainty when conducting routine agricultural practices.
SB 1261 by Sen. Bren Howard would restrict compensation for crops and crops broken by unintentional spray drift to these insurable below the Federal Crop Insurance coverage Company program or which can be offered on to the buyer by the producer. As well as, compensation can not exceed the quantity the producer has obtained from a confirmed yield from the world impacted by the drift, and any claims for a delicate crop will need to have been registered with the Division of Agriculture fourteen days previous to the incident. The purpose of SB 1261 is to present extra certainty to farmers, ranchers and applicators after many have been unable to spray through the 2021 season because of concern of unknown monetary legal responsibility and uncertainty medical marijuana grows that they might be unaware of and unintentionally injury the crop. SB 1261 has handed out of committee and now awaits full Senate consideration.
HB 4432 by Rep. Kenton Patzkowsky would require all medical marijuana growers to publish a conspicuous signal on the entrance to their rising web site that lists the enterprise identify, bodily deal with, telephone quantity and medical marijuana license quantity. SB 1737 by Sen. Blake Stephens, and SB 1779 by Sen. Shane Jett would require signage to be posted at any medical marijuana enterprise with the license quantity and telephone quantity that’s accessible to the general public. SB 1779 has been handed from its assigned committee whereas HB 4432 and SB 1737 nonetheless await committee consideration. Oklahoma Farm Bureau members adopted coverage on the 2021 annual assembly supporting required signage at marijuana companies so the general public can know the place licensed medical marijuana amenities are situated. State medical marijuana regulators have indicated that clear signage will help them in figuring out the place legally licensed companies are and will additionally assist them determine suspected marijuana companies that aren’t marked and is probably not working in compliance with state legislation and guidelines.
Oklahoma Farm Bureau members have lengthy been against any legislation giving counties authority to extend regulation or create zoning. HB 2990 by Rep. Carol Bush and SB 1182 by Sen. Dave Rader may enable a county to create and implement any rule, regulation, coverage, process, or code they deemed needed so long as there was not any state rule or legislation that particularly prohibited them from doing so. At present counties can solely create or implement guidelines, laws, and insurance policies immediately specified by the state. If handed, HB 2990 and SB 1182 would create vital uncertainty for producers within the affected counties. Every county may create their very own laws in unincorporated, rural Oklahoma that would enhance burden on farmers and ranchers, limit them from conducting their regular agricultural practices or probably prohibit them fully from working inside the county. HB 2990 can be thought-about within the Home County and Municipal Authorities Committee on Monday, Feb. 21. SB 1182 has not but been positioned on an agenda however might be heard by the Senate Basic Authorities committee as early as Thursday, Feb. 24.
OKFB’s coverage crew has been urging legislators to oppose these payments and have educated them on how such laws may negatively impression rural Oklahoma as a complete and farms and ranchers particularly. It is necessary for Farm Bureau members to know who their legislators are in preparation for a possible name to motion if both invoice receives consideration on the Home or Senate flooring.
For questions or extra info, please contact the OKFB Public Coverage division at (405) 523-2300.