The Missouri Senate on Thursday passed HB 1326, which is an omnibus bill that includes many different bills related to agriculture. The Missouri Cattlemen's Association (MCA) commends the passage of HB 1326, which passed 28 to 3 with bipartisan support. MCA President Jim McCann said HB 1326, which is similar to SB 506 that was passed Wednesday by the Missouri House of Representatives, includes issues that MCA members identified as "top priorities" for the 2014 legislative session.
HB 1326 was handled today by Senator Mike Kehoe (R-6) and originally sponsored by Representative Casey Guernsey (R-2). The omnibus extends the equine activity liability waiver to include livestock activities in the rare instance that an accident occurs. Additionally, the omnibus bill includes increasing the hauling limits for livestock from 80,000 pounds to 85,500 pounds. HB 1326 allows Missouri beef producers to vote in a checkoff referendum if an enhancement is proposed by the Missouri Beef Industry Council. Finally, the omnibus includes legislation that extends the student loan program for large animal veterinary students who practice in rural, underserved areas.
HB 1326 now goes back to the House for consideration. McCann said the association encourages the House to quickly pass the legislation.
"We are very pleased with the overwhelming bipartisan support agriculture has had this year from both the House and the Senate. Most elected leaders in both chambers understand the importance of Missouri's beef cattle industry, which is the second-largest in the country," said McCann. "We certainly hope the Governor supports farm and ranch families by signing HB 1326 when it reaches his desk."