Out of the 1471 [pre-session] bills, we saw several that would raise taxes, amend the property tax structure, address affordable housing issues and more.
On the pesticide front, there are already three bills of concern:
HB 2619 – Bans the sale and use of neonicotinoids in the State of Oregon. While the bill bans the sale, purchase or use in the state, it is limited to pesticide products, so would still allow the use of pretreated seed.
HB 2493 – Prohibits aerial application of pesticides in the McKenzie and Santiam watersheds. This legislation impacts a large swath of agriculture and forest lands.
HB 2656 – Bans certain forest practices on forest land that serve as public drinking water sources, including:
– Clear Cuts
– Construction of a new logging road
– Application of pesticides and fertilizers
Everyone in natural resources should watch the attack that is happening to Oregon’s dairy sector. SB 103 & SB 104 would classify dairies of certain sizes as industrial facilities therefore exempting them from right to farm protections and regulating them similar to a factory under Oregon’s air quality and land use laws. This is a blatant attack on modern agriculture that would be precedent setting for all. It puts operations that do not fit in a Norman Rockwell view of farming at political risk.
Over the next six month, we are going to be asking our members to engage with the Legislature. They will need to hear from folks on the ground about the reality of some of these measures. Thank you in advance for your advocacy.