House Passes 'Proactive' Legislation to Help Southeast Missouri Rice Farmers
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House Passes 'Proactive' Legislation to Help Southeast Missouri Rice Farmers

Date: February 15, 2012
By: Cole Karr
State Capitol Bureau
Links: HB 1179

KRCU -- The Missouri House has passed legislation that would help protect Southeast Missouri farmers' water sources.
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Wrap: The bill... now going to the Senate... would allow injunctions to be filed against any operation using more than 100-thousand gallons of water per day from any water source in Southeast Missouri.

Bill sponsor Republican Representative Kent Hampton says the bill is proactive to protect agriculture interests... as well as industry and small business in the area by sustaining water in the region.

Actuality:  HAMPTON1.WAV
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Description: We know that we can wish and hope and pray that it rains and it may not. So water is imperative for us having agriculture and also having an economy in that area itself.

Republican Representative Dave Schatz disagrees with the bill's current stance and wants the legislation to be inclusive of the whole state.

Reporting from the state Capitol... I'm Cole Karr.

KRCU -- A bill aiming to sustain water in Southeast Missouri is under some hot water with some legislators.
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Wrap: The measure passed the Missouri House and is on its way to the Senate. 

Republican Representative Kent Hampton sponsors the bill that would conserve water in the seven-county Southeast Missouri Regional Water District.

But...  St. Louis Democratic Representative Jacob Hummel says this bill is the same as water restriction.

Hummel says there is concern that mass water users other than rice farmers will not be able freely access the water.

Actuality:  HUMMEL1.WAV
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Description: Rice farmers in Southeastern Missouri, to which use an enormous amount of water, want to make sure that no one else can use that water except for them, because they are currently established as farmers.

However... Hampton says this bill would benefit not only rice farmers, but also future industry and small business.

Reporting from the state Captiol... I'm Cole Karr.

KRCU -- The Missouri House passed a bill that would help Southeast Missouri rice farmers have more water for their operations.
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Wrap: Republican Representative Kent Hampton sponsors what he says is a proactive bill to prevent future business operations from draining the southeast Missouri aquifer.

This would help conserve water for agriculture operations in the region.

But... Sullivan Republican Representative Dave Schatz says he would be more supportive if this bill had a more statewide focus.

Actuality:  SCHATZ2.WAV
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Description: I would like to look at it in a broader perspective than just one particular region. You know... regionalization.

Opposition to the bill says any kind of water regulation is controversial and needs more than just consent.

The bill is on its way to the Senate.

Reporting from the state Capitol... I'm Cole Karr.


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