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Bill to Limit Factory Farms' Liability Faces Possible Veto

For related articles and more information, please visit OCA's Factory Farm page and our Missouri News page.

The clock is ticking for Gov. Jay Nixon of Missouri to decide whether to veto a bill that would restrict property owners from suing factory farms that pollute and create extreme odors.

Nixon has until Tuesday to decide what to do with the controversial legislation.

A campaign against the bill reached a higher pitch last month after it passed easily enough that Sen. Brad Lager, a Savannah Republican, called it veto-proof.

The vote was 110-45, just one more than the 109 votes needed for an override.

But some Democrats who voted yes promised to switch if the governor vetoed it.

In two weeks, Nixon's office received about 1,000 letters, emails and calls running about 6-to-1 in support of a veto, said Scott Holste, a spokesman for the governor. Also, in two days last week, a petition drive by bill opponents got 400 signatures.

"It is a nonpartisan issue," said Tim Gibbons of the Missouri Rural Crisis Center, a nonprofit working for small farmers. "Out in the countryside, everyone is opposing this. The 'suits' walking around down in Jefferson City lobbying for this, they are not representing farmers, that's for sure."

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