2011 Session good for Ag

2011 Legislative Session Productive For Oregon Agriculture
By Oregon Farm Bureau

With an evenly split House and a narrow margin in the Senate, this session could have been filled with roadblocks and partisan posturing. However, the 2011 Legislature proved Oregon’s elected leaders could work in a bipartisan manner, and work on the issues important to Oregonians. This created an environment that produced results for farmers and ranchers.

Some of the take homes this session include a wolf compensation program, increased funding for predator control, improved siting of irrigation reservoirs, program for conducting activities on farmland, fixes for the double tax issue on Oregon cooperatives under measure 67 and continued improvements to Oregon’s natural resource tax credit which lowers the burden on Oregon estate taxes on natural resource families.

Agriculture’s only losses this session were lost opportunities; there were a few important issues that we were unable to move forward this session. We will continue to work towards resolving issues around water quality and quantity, extension of ag labor housing tax credits, predator control and we’ll continue to monitor issues relating to activities in the EFU so that they don’t impede on Oregon’s producers rights to farm.

In a future newsletter, we will highlight the details and results of this session. Thank you to all Farm Bureau members who traveled to the Capitol and/or contacted their legislators on agriculture policy. You are an important piece of our collective success and we couldn’t have done it without your help.
Christmas Tree Bill Has Small Gifts For Ag

Each session, one of the last bills passed is the Christmas Tree Bill that has the final fiscal gifts from the Legislature. This session, the bill was HB 5508 and was considered more of a twig. While a smaller bill than normal, it had some items important for agriculture.

Programs in Department of Agriculture (ODA) and Water Resources Department (WRD) received funding. ODA received an additional $543,000 in lottery funds for completion of weed programs and funding of the Invasive Species Council. WRD received an additional $487,062 to reinstate two important science-based positions and ground water study funds.

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