Senate Dems sell Iowa out to factory farm lobby

Two bad factory farm de-regulation bills pass the Iowa Senate today


A bipartisan sell out to the corporate factory farm lobby was on full display in the Iowa Senate today as a majority of Senate Democrats joined their GOP counterparts to pass two bad factory farm bills that give special treatment to big-moneyed corporate ag interest groups like the Iowa Pork Producers and the Iowa Farm Bureau at the expense of everyday people and the environment.

  • The Senate passed the “Ag Gag” bill 40-10. Senator Joe Seng (D-Davenport) managed the “Ag Gag” bill, House File 589, on the Senate floor, which criminalizes factory farm watchdogs and whistleblowers by increasing legal penalties for everyday people who expose animal abuse.  
    • The ‘NO” votes on the bill were Senators Bolkcom, Danielson, Dotzler, Dvorsky, Hatch, Hogg, Jochum, Mathis, McCoy, Quirmbach. No Republicans spoke on the bill.
    • Later in the day, the House adopted the Senate’s changes without debate and the House approved “Ag Gag” on a 69-28 vote. It now goes to the Governor’s desk to be signed into law.
  • The Senate passed Kibbie’s factory farm loophole bill 49-1. Senator Jack Kibbie (D-Emmetsburg) managed the factory farm loophole bill Senate File 2172 on the Senate floor, a bill that carves out a giant loophole in Iowa’s public oversight laws by allowing factory farm breeders to raise gilts on-site without counting them towards the total number of hogs in confinement that could trigger construction permits and other requirements.  
    • The sole ‘NO’ vote on the bill was Senator Bolkcom.

News Roundup: News coverage gives you some details on the debate: Des Moines Register, Bleeding Heartland blog, Radio Iowa, Sioux City Journal.

From CCI Action Fund Board President and fourth generation family farmer Barb Kalbach: 
“Seng, Kibbie, and the rest of the Iowa Senators who voted for this bill sold out their constituents to the corporate factory farm industry today,” said Barb Kalbach, a fourth generation family farmer and the CCI Action Fund Board President from Dexter, Iowa.  “And Senate Majority Leader Mike Gronstal deserves a fair amount of blame for allowing these bills to be brought to the floor for a vote in the first place.”

“Iowa CCI Action Fund members are particularly disgusted with Jack Kibbie, who spent most of his career standing up for family farmers and is now throwing his legacy away in the name of corporate profits.  He will now go down in Iowa history books as a man who gave away his principles to the corporate factory farm lobby.”




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