Legislative Briefs…Week in Review

HB 1123 unanimously passed the House Judiciary Committee this week. This measure declares that a person can not be charged for an arson offense if they started and maintained a fire as a controlled agricultural burn in a reasonably cautious manner and there was no personal injury as a result. “Controlled Agricultural Burn” is defined in this bill to mean a technique used in farming to clear the land of any existing crop residue, kill weeds and weed seeds, or reduce fuel buildup and decrease the likelihood of a future fire. We believe this is a positive bill for Ag. CFB thanks Rep. Jerry Sonnenberg for bringing this bill forward.

HB 1101 was amended and passed the House Transportation & Energy Committee this week. This bill deals with Farm Truck Registration. CFB was supportive of the amendments to this bill. This measure now declares that if a farm truck is used primarily for agricultural production on a farm or ranch owned or leased by the owner of the truck and the land on which it is used has been classified as agricultural land (for taxing purposes).  Currently, a county clerk may require that a person demonstrate that the person’s primary business is agriculture and show proof of this income in order to register a motor vehicle as a farm truck.

The Senate passed the Budget Supplemental Bills for the 2009-10 fiscal year. They now go to the Governor’s Desk. As for HB-1327, the objectionable Section 9 was deleted.  It was replaced with Section 8 that transfers $2 million from the CWCB Perpetual Base Account to the General Fund.

Next WeekThe House committees will hear SB 165 – ‘Adjust Oil and Gas Well Regulation’, SB 34 – ‘Pesticide Act Refillers Requirements’, SB 38 – ‘Organic Certification Act’, SB 19 – ‘Valuation of New Hydroelectric Facilities’, and SB 52 – ‘Alter Designated Groundwater Basin Area’.  On Tuesday, the Senate State Affairs Committee will hear HB 1107 – ‘Urban Renewal Area regarding Ag Lands’.


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