The Missouri State Fair is in full swing with all types of activities showcasing the state's number 1 industry, agriculture. Today is the Governor's Ham Breakfast, always a busy meal and a great fundraising time for Future Farmers of America and 4-H club members in Missouri. Also, many politicians descend upon the Fairgrounds as do the news media. There will be many meetings around the grounds and in Sedalia, so keep your eyes and ears open for all the latest political news as the week closes!
As promised over the next few weeks, I will continue to recap the bills vetoed by the governor. These bills are likely to be reheard during the Annual Veto Session on September 14th. This week I have three more bills to summarize.
Bills for Veto Session
--Reducing the Tax Burden on Farmers Recovering from Disaster (SB 641) -- Legislators will consider overriding the governor's veto of SB 641 that was passed by the legislature to allow a 100 percent income tax deduction for the amount of any income received as payment from any program that compensates agricultural producers who have suffered a loss as a result of a disaster or emergency. In effect, it would ensure farmers aren't taxed on any disaster relief assistance they receive. The change is said to be necessary to allow farmers to benefit fully from the financial assistance they receive after an emergency or disaster.
Veto Date: 06/28/16
--Protecting Livestock Owners from Excessive Liability (SB 844) -- Legislators will also consider overriding the governor's veto of SB 844 that was approved to clarify that an animal owner is liable for damages done by the animal to another's property only if the owner has been negligent. Currently, if horses, cattle, or other livestock break through a fence and cause damages to another's property, the owner is strictly liable. Even in cases when the fence is torn down or broken by someone else, the owner of the animals is still liable under current law. The change approved by the General Assembly would relieve the animal owner from liability for damages when the animals were released because of the actions or fault of another.
Veto Date: 06/28/16
--Animal Disease Traceability Program Data (HB 1414) -- Another vetoed bill, HB 1414, exempts data collected by state agencies under the federal Animal Disease Traceability Program from disclosure under Missouri's Sunshine Law. Specifically, the bill specifies that certain information on an agricultural producer or owner of agricultural land in connection with a producer or owner's voluntary participation in a government program that is maintained by the Department of Agriculture or the Department of Natural Resources is not considered a public record and subject to public disclosure. The departments may disclose the information under certain circumstances. The participation of a producer or owner in any program administered by the departments may not be conditioned on the consent of the producer or owner to disclose this information. Certain information relating to animals is not considered a public record and may not be subject to disclosure except under specific circumstances. Any person who knowingly releases such data may be subject to civil action and a court may order appropriate relief including damages up to $10,000 and reasonable attorney's fees.
Veto Date: 07/08/16