Hearing for the Initiative 300 Replacement, LB 1174

Release Date: 

02/08/2008

Contact(s): 

John Crabtree, johnc@cfra.org Phone: (402) 687-2103 ext. 1010 Dan Owens, dano@cfra.org Phone: (402) 687-2103 ext. 1017
Lyons, NE – On February 12th in Lincoln, NE, the Center for Rural Affairs and Senator M.L. “Cap” Dierks will provide the opportunity for media outlets to interview farmers, ranchers, organizational representatives and other experts prior to their testimony at the Senate Agriculture Committee hearing on LB 1174, the legislative replacement for Initiative 300 (I-300). The hearing will be held at 1:30 p.m. in room 1510.

Media Availability

- Farmers, ranchers, experts, and organizational representatives will be available for interviews Tuesday, February 12, 2008, 10:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. at Senator Dierks’ office (Nebraska State Capital, Second floor, Room 2108).

- News release and detailed summary of LB 1174 available upon request at the Center for Rural Affairs (402-687-2100) or at the media availability.  For further information on the day of the hearing (February 12th) contact Dan Owens at 402-260-0012.

- For those outside Lincoln, NE other arrangements can be made for interviews by contacting John Crabtree prior to February 12th or Dan Owens on the day of the hearing (February 12th).

I-300 was ruled unconstitutional by federal court in the fall of 2006.  LB 1174 would be a legislative replacement for Nebraska’s anti-corporate farming constitutional amendment, I-300.

The federal judge ruled that I-300 discriminated against out-of-state individuals and business entities, thus violating the commerce clause of the United States Constitution.  LB 1174, introduced by Senator Dierks and supported by the Center for Rural Affairs and Nebraska Farmers Union, would be a very close copy of the text of the original I-300 amendment, but it would explicitly state that actively engaged farmers and ranchers in other states would be eligible to own agricultural assets in Nebraska.

According to Dan Owens of the Center for Rural Affairs, LB 1174 addresses the federal court's objections to Initiative 300 through relatively minor changes and legal clarifications.  Passing LB 1174 will put Nebraska laws back in place that stood for over 25 years and were approved by a majority of Nebraska voters.

For more information on I-300 and LB 1174: http://www.cfra.org/I300

Among those testifying and available for interviews are Roger A. McEowen, Rick Welsh, Michael Stumo and Dan Owens.

Roger A. McEowen is the Leonard Dolezal Professor in Agricultural Law at Iowa State University in Ames, Iowa, where he is also the Director of the ISU Center for Agricultural Law and Taxation.  For Roger’s complete bio visit: http://www.calt.iastate.edu/rogerbio.htm .

Professor Rick Welsh from the Department of Humanities and Social Sciences at Clarkson University in Potsdam, NY will be discussing “Agricultural industrialization, anti-corporate farming laws and rural community welfare” (for a copy contact the Center for Rural Affairs).  Rick Welsh will be available by phone at (315) 268-3988.

Michael Stumo serves as legal counsel for the Organization for Competitive Markets, a national, non-profit, public policy research organization headquartered in Lincoln, Nebraska that focuses on reinvigorating antitrust law and competition policy and reclaiming competitive markets in agriculture for farmers, ranchers and rural communities.

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