HOUSE AG COMMITTEE PASSES FAMILY FARM PRESERVATION ACT
A vote by the full House could occur as early as May 6.
MONTGOMERY, Ala. -- The House Agriculture, Forestry and Natural Resources Committee approved HB 420, the Family Farm Preservation Act, by a voice vote Wednesday afternoon with one amendment. The amendment requires public notice for farm operation permits. There were no dissenting votes cast for the bill as amended. The House bill is sponsored by Rep. Neal Morrison, D-Cullman, who agreed to the amendment.
Freddie Patterson, director of Governmental Affairs for the Alabama Farmers Federation, said the earliest the bill could come up for consideration by the full House is May 6.
"We are optimistic about the bill's passage once it reaches the House floor," Patterson said. "The testimony by our members in the April 16th hearing before the House Agriculture, Forestry and Natural Resources Committee was very compelling and made a difference not only in the vote of some committee members, but it is likely to influence the votes of several members in the House."
The Senate bill, SB 346, is sponsored by Sen. Zeb Little, D-Cullman. It initially was assigned to the Senate Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry Committee by Lt. Gov. Lucy Baxley. However, Senate Pro Tem Lowell Barron objected, sending the bill to the Senate Rules Committee, chaired by Sen. Jim Preuitt, D-Talladega, where it has languished and died for the previous two years.
Federation members are urged to contact Preuitt as well as House members to ask their support of the bill. Their phone numbers and email addresses are on the Alfa Farmers' website at www.alfafarmers.org under the Capitol Connection. Information about the upcoming House vote also will be posted to the website.