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Ag protection bill advance in Idaho

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Sean Ellis
Public testimony Feb. 20 was heavily in favor of a bill that would make it a crime to interfere with a farming operation in Idaho. The bill was sent to the full House with a "do-pass" recommendation.

BOISE — A bill that would make it a crime to interfere with an Idaho farming operation has been sent to the House floor.

Members of the House Agricultural Affairs Committee voted 13-1 Feb. 20 to send the bill to the full House with a “do-pass” recommendation.

The committee made its decision after 3 1/2 hours of public testimony. The bill would make it a crime for someone to gain employment with an agricultural operation through deception and then do economic harm and damage to that operation.

Testimony was overwhelmingly in favor of the bill, which has already passed the Senate.

The agricultural industry is under increased attacks by extremist groups with an anti-farming agenda, said Rep. Gayle Batt, R-Wilder, one of the bill’s sponsors.

“Idaho should not tolerate these extreme tactics,” she said.

Anyone found guilty of violating the law could be charged with a misdemeanor and sentenced to up to one year in prison and fined up to $5,000.

Those charged with this crime would be required to pay restitution to the victim.



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