– Gameness til the End
BILL REIBOLDT: Ag industry under outside attack
Neosho Daily News
Posted Feb 28, 2012 @ 10:20 AM
Neosho, Mo. — I want to continue my thoughts from last week’s article on the ballot petition initiative, Your Vote Counts Act.
This act is sponsored by the radical animal-rights extremists HSUS (Humane Society of the United States), and is their attempt to handcuff the Missouri General Assembly. If passed, the Your Vote Counts Act would require a three-fourths vote of both the Missouri House and Senate in order to change any voter-approved initiative. This would make it extremely difficult for the General Assembly to repeal or amend any state law enacted through the initiative process.
Missouri is one of 24 states who gives its citizens the right and privilege to use the ballot petition initiative. HSUS is the out-of-state group that came to Missouri and used our ballot petition initiative process to advance their animal rights agenda. If passed, the Your Vote Counts Act will limit the ability of elected representatives to correct an unconstitutional initiative. This was the case with some of the language of the 2010 Proposition B, because it unconstitutionally restricted the rights of Missouri citizens to raise dogs by limiting the number of animals they could own. The Your Vote Counts Act of 2012 is an act of revenge by HSUS on Missouri’s General Assembly for correcting the unconstitutional parts of Prop B.
While I am a supporter of our state’s ballot initiative process, I find myself adamantly opposed to the Your Vote Counts Act. Not only is HSUS seeking to limit our state’s legislative process and push themselves into our state’s animal agriculture business, HSUS boasts of a $150 million budget to fund their agenda against animal agriculture in the entire United States. Their long-range goal nationwide is to cripple and then destroy all animal agriculture by placing unrealistic regulations and restrictions on meat, milk, and egg industries. HSUS got its foot in the door in Missouri by attacking pet breeders. They spent $4.85 million to get Prop B passed by fifty-one percent of the voters in our state. This amounts to over $4 per vote. Missouri farm organizations mustered together $500,000 to counter the attack. This translates into 54 cents per vote. Several of Missouri’s representatives and senators have stepped up with the following pro-ag legislation that would insulate our state’s agriculture industry from these outside attacks.
Right to Raise Livestock. This bill was heard by the House Committee on Agriculture Policy and was unanimously passed out of committee. It is now being debated on the floor of the House, and we will most likely be voting on it this week. HJR 61 is a proposed constitutional amendment that will give our voters the opportunity to affirm the right of farmers to raise their livestock in a manner that adheres to state and local laws. It states that no law affecting the manner in which animals are being raised can be enacted by a ballot petition initiative.
Agriculture-Related Initiative Proposal. This is a proposed constitutional amendment that would require a four-sevenths voter majority to approve any initiative petition related to crop production, raising livestock, or other agriculturally related topics.
Animal Rights. Some have said, and still maintain, that this bill is unnecessary. However, with the extremist group PETA suing Sea World on the grounds that killer whales are “enslaved,” we see the importance to protect Missouri from these animal rights radicals. HB 1513 prohibits any state law from providing an animal a right, privilege, or legal status that is equivalent to or exceeds that of a human being.
Pet Breeders Appreciation Month. This bill designates the month of December as pet breeders appreciation month, honoring responsible breeders for their hard work and dedication to Missouri’s pet industry. The economic contribution of the pet industry to the state approaches $1 billion.
Agriculture is still the number one industry in our state. In the coming weeks I will highlight more legislation that is important to Missouri agriculture, farmers, and sportsmen.
If I can be of help to you with any state matter, please do not hesitate to contact me at one of the following: Mail: Bill Reiboldt, Office 235-BB, State Capitol, 201 W. Capitol, Jefferson City, MO 65101. Telephone: (573) 751-9781. Personal cell phone: 417-456-0441. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Bill Reiboldt represents the people of Newton and McDonald counties in the Missouri House of Representatives.