The Oregon Natural Resources Report - Agricultural News from Oregon

Oregon Farm Bureau Priority Bills

February 13, 2013

Oregon-Farm-BureauOregon Farm Bureau Priority Bills
By Oregon Farm Bureau

Below are a list of bills that are on top of Oregon Farm Bureau’s list of priorities. This list may be updated as new bills are introduced as the session continues. To see all the bills Farm Bureau is tracking, visit the CMS bill tracking site referenced below.

Forestry

HB 2050 – Phases the Oregon Forest Land Protection Fund (fire protection) to a true 50/50 match between landowners and the state. Also, increases funds for quick response.

Labor
HB 2068 – Reverses the Appeals Court decision stating that owners and members of LLC’s are personally liable for damages arising from workers’ comp claims. The legislation extends exclusive remedy protections of workers’ compensation statutes to partners, limited liability company partners, general partners limited liability partners and limited partners. Additionally, the Cortez case is being appealed to the Oregon Supreme Court. Oregon Farm Bureau has jointly submitted an amicus brief with other business organizations.

HB 2474 & SB 323 – Extends sunset for tax credits for owning or operating farmworker housing and for lending to construct or rehabilitate farmworker housing.

Land Use

HB 2201 – Establishes conditions for approval of a reclamation plan for surface mining operation on land zoned for exclusive farm use.

HB 2202 – Prohibits the approval of mining permits on tracts of land within the Willamette Valley that are zoned for exclusive farm use and include five acres or mine of Class I and II soils.

Water
HB 2258 – Creates a statewide water development grant/loan fund. Farm Bureau is participating in a workgroup on the details of the program. Governor’s Budget designates $22 million in bonds for water projects.

Wetlands
HB 2173 – Due to impacts publicly funded wetlands are having on neighboring agricultural land, Farm Bureau work with Representatives Krieger and Clem on this legislation. Changes status of activities conducted to create, restore or enhance wetlands on land zoned for exclusive farm use from outright permitted use to conditional use. Exempts land zoned for exclusive farm use from limitation on liability for damage, injury or death for certain fish and wildlife habitat improvement projects and watershed or stream restoration or enhancement programs. Declares emergency, effective on passage.

SB 338 - Changes status of activities conducted to create, restore or enhance wetlands on land zoned for exclusive farm use from outright permitted use to conditional use. Eliminates limitation on liability for damages resulting from certain fish and wildlife habitat improvement projects and watershed or stream restoration or enhancement programs. Limits purchase price paid for statutory conservation easements and highway scenic preservation easements.

Wildlife


HB 2250 - Extends the Landowner Preference Tag Program. Farm Bureau has been participating on a workgroup to the program. It is yet unknown, if the work group will agree to positive changes to the program.

HB 2251 - Makes the Southern Oregon LOP program permanent, which issues tags to landowners to address damage caused by elk. In discussions to bring the program statewide.

SB 197 - Describes circumstances in which gray wolf may be taken. Relieves injunction on the state taking wolves that are killing livestock. Declares emergency, effective on passage.

  
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