Protecting Property Rights
On May 5, the Senate passed an important piece of legislation to protect Missourians’ private property rights, as well as the value of farmland. House Bill 2005 deals with the issue of eminent domain, a tool allowing governments and certain utilities to acquire private land for public use. During eminent domain proceedings, this legislation requires compensation for agriculture or horticulture land to be 150% of fair market value determined as by the court. Ultimately, HB 2005 aims to protect landowners from receiving too little money for their precious farmland. I proposed similar legislation as an amendment in 2020, and I’m glad to see the Senate taking action on this important issue.
Another bill the General Assembly continues to work on is House Bill 1720, an omnibus agriculture bill. The bill includes legislation I sponsored to change the family farm breeding livestock loan program and make it easier for our state’s small farmers to use. The bill raises the income cap to participate in the program, as well as removes the restriction that limits farmers to only one loan per family. All told, I believe this legislation will provide our state’s small farmers the flexibility and access to vital resources they need to stay competitive in today’s economy. HB 1720 also renews and extends a number of ag-related tax credit programs, such as the New Generation Cooperative Incentive tax credit program, and streamlines the regulation anhydrous ammonia, which I sponsored as a standalone bill in the Senate. I hope HB 1720 will be discussed in a conference committee in the coming week in order to allow us to work out the differences between the House and Senate versions of the bill.
There’s only one week left in the 2022 legislative session, with session ending on May 13 at 6 p.m. It’s going to be a busy week leading up until then, but I look forward to seeing what good pieces of legislation the General Assembly can pass to help ensure Missouri remains a great place to live, work and raise a family.
As always, I am honored to serve the citizens of the 6th Senatorial District. Please feel free to contact my office at (573) 751-2076. For information about my committee assignments or sponsored legislation, please visit my official Missouri Senate website at senate.mo.gov/Bernskoetter.