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SQ 777: State Question focuses on Oklahoma right to engage in farming and ranching
11:04 AM, Oct 15, 2016
12:13 PM, Oct 18, 2016
Should the state's constitution be amended to create guaranteed rights to engage in farming and ranching?
That's what Oklahomans must determine when they vote on State Question 777.
The measure would add Section 38 to Article II of the Oklahoma Constitution. It would ensure:
The right to make use of agricultural technology
The right to make use of livestock procedures, and
The right to make use of ranching practices
The amendment would also ban any new law regulating or prohibiting an agricultural practice unless the new law can be justified by a compelling state interest. According to Oklahoma Policy Institute, the new laws would have to pass strict scrutiny. The website said a study found that state laws challenged under strict scrutiny in federal courts are stuck down 77 percent of the time and local ordinances are struck down 85 percent of the time.
The measure does not apply to and does not impact state laws related to:
Dominance of mineral interests,
Right of way or other property rights, and
Any state statutes and political subdivision ordinances enacted before Dec. 31, 2014
Supporters of 777 say it allows farmers to defend themselves from unwarranted laws and regulations, will help families pass their farms on to the next generation, farmers and ranchers can provide consumers the choices they want in food and fiber, among other things. More from the Vote Yes on 777 group.
Opponents of 777 say the measure doesn't help the family farmers, it will make getting legislation to deal with issues such as water pollution more difficult, it could affect animal welfare, among other things. More from the Vote No on 777 group.