Oklahoma Farm Bureau released its full legislative scorecard, calculating state legislators’ voting percentage on important agricultural and rural bills.
OKFB calculates the voting percentages each year following the conclusion of the Oklahoma legislative session. Important bills affecting agriculture and rural Oklahoma are selected during the legislative process to be scored. Each vote is calculated according to whether OKFB supported or opposed a bill, and legislators are positively scored for voting in accordance with the OKFB’s stance on each piece of legislation. A record of “absent” counts neither for nor against a legislator.
The scorecard is used to select members of OKFB’s 100 Percent Club, a list of state legislators who voted inline with OKFB’s member-created policy. In 2015, OKFB recognized 71 state legislators as members of the club.
The scorecard and bill descriptions are viewable below in an embedded document viewer. The bill descriptions are also included below the document.
Legislation scored in both chambers
OKFB strongly supported HJR 1012. The resolution by Representative Scott Biggs and Senator Jason Smalley will amend the Oklahoma Constitution to ensure farmers and ranchers have the right to engage in farming and ranching practices forever in Oklahoma. HJR 1012 states the Legislature shall pass no law which abridges the rights of citizens and lawful residents to employ agricultural technology and livestock production and ranching practices without a compelling state interest. The resolution grandfathers any statute or ordinance passed prior to December 31, 2014. Further, the resolution promises HJR 1012 will not modify common law or statutes related to trespass, eminent domain, dominance of mineral interests, easements, rights of way or other property rights.
Bills scored only in the House
OKFB supported HB 1104. HB 1104 by Representative Scott Biggs and Senator Bryce Marlatt would have required anyone who meets the hunting requirements of the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation to kill all feral swine upon capture, unless the person was licensed to transport the swine. The bill would have required the swine capturer to tag the swine using an Oklahoma Department of Agriculture (ODAFF) approved identification method, and have all captured feral swine test negative to pseudorabies and brucellosis tests administered by a state-licensed veterinarian. The bill would have prohibited holding feral swine at a licensed handling facility for more than thirty (30) days unless they were being held for domestic consumption.
OKFB supported HB 1387. The legislation, by Rep. Casey Murdoch and Sen. Eddie Fields, increases the penalty for the theft of cattle, horses, mules, hogs and implements of husbandry in Oklahoma. The bill increased the maximum sentence length for convicted thieves to 15 years, and introduced a fine equal to three times of the value of livestock or implements stolen. The bill specified that 2/3 of the collected fine go to the owner of the stolen property and 1/3 be used for agricultural law enforcement by the state department of agriculture.
Bills scored only in the Senate
OKFB supported SB 760, by Senator Mike Schulz and Rep. Charles Ortega. The bill called for the creation of a Water Use Working Group to study and develop a comprehensive plan for the transfer of surface water within the boundaries of Oklahoma. The legislation outlined working group members, which included state cabinet members, representatives of several organizations, and at-large members from specified quadrants of the state.
OKFB supported HB 1456. The Bill, by Representative James Leewright and President Pro Tempore of the Senate Brian Bingman, enacts annexation reform. The bill states a municipality shall be prohibited from annexing land by a connecting strip that serves no other purpose than to establish contiguity or adjacentness, or to capture territory within the area to be annexed. Also, municipalities with a population of 12,000 or less may only annex up to eight (8) square miles in one area at any one time provided the municipality obtains the written consent of the owners of at least 65% of the acres to be annexed and 25% of the population to be annexed.