Nebraska lawmakers are one step closer to lifting the state's ban on hogs owned by meatpackers.
The measure won first-round approval Tuesday on a 28-10 vote after supporters managed to overcome a filibuster.
Opponents in the Legislature say the bill would allow major corporations, such as the Chinese-owned Smithfield Foods, to squeeze out small and independent farmers and control the supply chain. They pointed to the poultry industry, where consolidations have given major processors a large amount of leverage over producers.
Sen. Ken Schilz of Ogallala says he introduced the bill to keep Nebraska's hog industry on pace with other states, where it has grown faster. Schilz says the bill lets farmers contract with whomever they wish.
Senators voted 34-9 to end the filibuster.