Legislature: Bad water bill, GMO, studded tires

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

Alarming Water Bill

This bill is sponsored by Senator Floyd Prozanski. If passed, this will make it very difficult for a water user to get a transfer approved by WRD.

SB 425 – Requires that application to change place of use, point of diversion or use made of water be evaluated to determine whether granting of application would result in loss of in-stream habitat for native fish or native wildlife in stream reach not protected by existing in-stream water right. Prohibits granting application that would result in loss. Allows revocation of approval if change results in loss of habitat.

Studded-Tire Bills

There are two studded tire bills that are scheduled for a hearing on March 6 at 3:00 PM in the House Transportation and Economic Development Committee. One bill would require a permit to use studded tires while the other bill will create a fee when you purchase them. There seems  to be some interest on the issue, so we wanted to bring this to your attention so that you can either contact the committee members or show up and testify. It is critical that this committee hear from people who will be impacted by this legislation. Below is a list of legislators that sit on the committee and a link to the bills.

HB 2277 – Requires permit for operation of motor vehicle with studded tires. Specifies how Department of Transportation is to determine cost of permit. Creates traffic offense of operating motor vehicle with studded tires without permit. Punishes by maximum fine of $500.

HB 2278 – Imposes fee on retail sale of studded tires and on installation of studs in tires. Provides exception. Becomes operative May 1, 2014.

GMO Legislation
There has been a variety of Genetically Modified Organism (GMO) legislation that has been introduced this session. From labeling and banning to fish and control areas; there is not much that has not been addressed. OFB staff is working to ensure all technology and production options are available to farmers. However, we do anticipate public hearings will be held on the GMO issue to allow both sides to discuss this topic in a committee setting. It is important to contact your legislators and share with them the impact these bills will have on your farm and the agriculture community if these bills pass.

The one bright spot regarding the GMO issue are two bills that preempt local governments from passing their own anti-GMO ordinances. For more information on the GMO issue, read the Biotech factsheet that goes into the science behind GMO. This is a great document to use in drafting comments to legislators. The list below are all of the GMO related bills in the Legislature.

Biotech pre-emption (support)
• HB 3192, SB 633
GMO Labeling (oppose)
• HB 2175, HB 2532, HB 3177, HB 3293
GMO Salmon (oppose)
• HB 2530
GMO Bans (oppose)
• HB 3290, HB 3291, HB 2530
ODA Regulation of GMO (oppose)
• HB 2319, HB 2736
GMO Control Areas (oppose)
• HB 2175, SB 432

Food Bank Donation Bill

A program that allows growers to donate produce to charitable organizations for a tax credit is going away this year. Oregon Farm Bureau and the Oregon Food Bank are working together to extend and improve this program. SB 430 will allow growers to donate crops to charitable organizations and write off the full market value on their taxes. This is a great program that allows farmers to get their products out of their fields that otherwise might stay there and feeds Oregonians hungry population.

This bill is up for a public hearing on March 6 at 1:00 PM in the Senate Fiance and Revenue Committee. If you use this program and would like to see it continued, please either testify or contact your legislator to let them know the value of this program to both farmers and Oregonians hungry population. To read more information about this bill, The Oregon Food Bank has provided this factsheet.



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