Viewpoint

This bill to protect hog farms stinks

From an editorial in the (Wilmington) Star News:

A famous adage claims that the public must never see how sausage or legislation is made. North Carolina’s state House gave a grand demonstration when it passed HB 467.

The bill would sharply limit lawsuits against industrial-scale hog farming operations by neighbors.

No longer would neighboring landowners be able to sue over “quality of life” issues such as stench or groundwater pollution. Payouts would be limited to a demonstrable decrease in the property’s fair market value.

Frankly, that stinks. What really smells, though, is how HB 467 was railroaded through. Last Thursday, House Speaker Tim Moore skipped over 11 bills to bring HB 467 up for a second vote. The move was so quick, many legislators were confused. The bill coasted to a third vote Monday and on to the Senate.

The bill is backed by the N.C. Pork Council and the Farm Bureau, and apparently that’s good enough for most current state House members.

HB 467 will quash the little guy and benefit multinational corporations. The Senate should vote it down and, if it doesn’t, Gov. Cooper needs to get out his veto pen.

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