By BOB HUDSON
BLACKFOOT — Bingham County's lawmakers reiterated their support of an Agriculture Security bill during Thursday's weekly legislative breakfast at Tommy Vaughn's.
The Idaho Senate passed the bill 23-10, sending it onto the House. There Reps. Neil Anderson and Julie Van Orden are among its co-sponsors.
"I've had a lot of email asking me to vote against it," Van Orden said. "Mostly from the Treasure Valley.
"Of the 12 phone calls I've received from my constituents, three asked me to vote against and the other nine were for it," she added.
"I'm not unmindful of animal cruelty," Anderson said. However, he added, while advocates such as the Humane Society are painting the bill's provisions as a free speech issue, proponents see it as a property rights issue.
"I urge you to support the ag bill," said local produce grower Richard Johnson. "The last thing we need is people trying (businesses) in the court of public opinion."
The genesis of the bill came as the result of charges of animal cruelty against a Twin Falls dairy. An individual got a job at that dairy and secretly videotaped workers beating the cows during the course of operations.
See Friday's Morning News for the full story.