The Senate Agriculture Committee has voted in favor of SB 1337 this morning, the bill to outlaw taking or distributing video of agricultural operations without permission, on a voice vote, after a nearly three-hour hearing. “I don’t think there’s one person on this committee that will stand and support any kind of animal abuse,” said Sen. Bob Nonini, R-Coeur d’Alene. Sen. Janie Ward-Engelking, D-Boise, cited her own agricultural background. “I support the intent of the bill and I’m equally worried about activists who have an agenda,” she said, “but I think the bill is too broad, and so I will be voting no.”
“This is a property rights issue – do you have the right to control the activities on your own property or not?” said Sen. Jim Rice, R-Caldwell “That is one of the fundamental things that makes America America. It has made us a beacon to the world.” The bill now moves to the full Senate; it needs passage both there and in the House and the governor’s signature to become law.