We had good action on two animal ag development bills today. After a positive hearing last week on HB 1437, the Senate Agriculture Committee passed it out with a 6-0 Do Pass recommendation. This bill uses regional planning grants to help counties and townships update their zoning and utilize other technologies and skill sets to choose sites adequate for housing animal ag operations as well as other economic development opportunities. The funding would be up to $12,000 per county and up to $500 per township. The program will be run out of the North Dakota Department of Agriculture which is using monies from their Environment Rangeland Protection fund. Working hand in hand with that is SB 2373 which would award certain counties with a Livestock Friendly designation. Together, these bills hope to further animal ag development by letting the world know those political subdivisions are open for that particular industry.
Also, today was the 6-0 Do Pass out of the Senate Agriculture Committee for HB 1423. This legislation sets up some rules which include the creation of a model zoning task force to discuss and potentially change some regulations for animal feeding operations in the months following the session. We presume that they have a good chance of passing the Senate floor in days to come.
Tomorrow is the Senate hearing for HB 1371 which is the corporate farming bill.
At this point, the conference committee discussion on how to reduce property tax and income tax appears to have a tentative solution.Senate...