Beef Legislation

The 2017 Oregon legislative session is officially upon us! Please take the time to contact your legislators about the bills outlined below (in no particular order). You can find your legislators’ contact information at: https://www.oregonlegislature.gov/FindYourLegislator/leg-districts.html.

House Bill 2043

Proposes to transfer $ 1 million from the general fund to sustain the Oregon Department of Agriculture’s noxious weed control programs during the 2017-2019 biennium.  The programs are otherwise likely to be cut under the current proposed budget. The Oregon Farm Bureau, the Oregon Cattlemen’s Association, Oregonians for Food and Shelter and the Oregon Association of Conservation Districts have testified in favor of the bill.

House Bill 2291

Would require that some farm trucks carrying pesticides, fertilizer, fuel or
other “hazardous materials” to meet paperwork and signature requirements. Oregonians for Food and Shelter and the Oregon Seed Council have testified against these requirements. Oregon Farm Bureau has expressed concerns about the uncertainty surrounding compliance and enforcement.

Senate Bill 499

Oregon’s “right to farm” law protects farmers, ranchers, and forest managers from nuisance or trespass lawsuits filed by neighbors or others who do not approve of how lands are operated. The bill would remove the protections currently in the law for pesticide use, including removing provisions entitling the farmer to attorney fees if they prevail.

House Bill 2382

Proposes to allocate funds directly to the FFA to benefit students and help grow the program.

Senate Bill 477

Would require an unsuccessful protestant to pay Water Resources Department costs and reasonable attorney fees if protestant has filed or intervened under certain statutes in three or more protests within preceding 12 months. This bill appears aimed at groups that protest a large number of water right applications, such as WaterWatch.

House Bill 2327 and Senate Bill 755

HB 2327 would help to ensure that OWEB contactors are adequately insured for projects. Such insurance is especially important should the state-funded projects result in adverse impacts on neighboring landowners. SB 755 is Oregon Farm Bureau’s bill to clarify liability for OWEB projects.

Senate Bill 6

Proposes to change trap check regulations, requiring trappers to check traps
within 24 hours and post signage on public lands. The bill is supported by animal welfare groups, and the Oregon Farm Bureau opposes the bill due to its impact on producers’ ability to manage predators with “impractical and costly restrictions on the use of traps.”

House Bills 2167/2169/2180/2181

Oregon Farm Bureau opposing all four bills related to labor and employment. HB 2167 relates to how workers claim an employer created or maintained an abusive work environment. HB 2169 would only allow a plaintiff to collect attorney fees, even if the employer prevails. HB 2180 proposes to allow employees to file liens on an employer’s property based on alleged wage claims. HB 2181 would create a rebuttable presumption against and employer that they retaliated against an employee.

House Bill 2038

Would preserve and expand funding for Farm-to-School and School Garden programs. A hearing will be held by the House Committee on Agriculture and Natural Resources on Tuesday, February 14 at 8:00 AM in HR D. You can also submit testimony to hagnr.exhibits@oregonlegislature.gov.
Douglas County Operators: Petition to join the new Predator Control District by returning the petitions to the Douglas County Livestock Association by March 10th in order to receive predator control services in the future. For more information about the formation of predator control districts, see the Capital Press article Oregon bill proposes predator control districts: http://www.capitalpress.com/Oregon/20150420/oregon-bill-proposes-predator-control-districts.
Congressman Kurt Schrader (5th District) is holding a telephone conference town hall meeting on Feb 15th at 6:00 PM. You can register online at:
Join the Oregon Farm Bureau for the Women’s Legislative Reception on February 17th, 10 AM to 3 PM at the State Capital. More details are available online at: https://www.facebook.com/events/102287840289260/?active_tab=about.