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Gutting local control -- this is what they were they doing after all the hubbub on bathrooms last night. You heard it here first, thanks to Judith McGeary of the Farm and Ranch Freedom Alliance. An amendment (Amendment 1) came late last night to the already bad seed bill, SB 1172, hand out to Monsanto. This nasty “little” amendment is a far reaching attack on local control.
The bill is likely to come back for a 3rd reading in a few hours. Though it’s very hard to change outcome on a third reading, we ask you to try. Why? It's a notice to all House members that the independent movement, currently nipping at their heels, is getting ready now for the next two years to build with their bad seedy deeds.
State Rep. Charlie Geren (R-River Oaks) called the amendment a “citizen suit” provision, but it’s not. A citizen suit provision gives anyone the right to sue to enforce the law – empowering everyday Texans to make sure government stays in line. In fact, Geren’s amendment only gives power to those who hold state licenses, permits, or registrations to sue a local government that seeks to regulate them in ANY way. Therefore, instead of the normal law, which requires a plaintiff to prove its case, the burden will be on the local government to prove “by clear and convincing evidence” that its regulation doesn’t “conflict” with state law.
Note that farmers aren’t licensed by the state. So while the Monsanto seed bill has been pushed as a measure to protect farmers (which it’s not), they wouldn’t even have standing under this provision!
So really what’s going on?
The amendment is NOT limited to the issue of seeds or even the agriculture code – it’s wide open. It seems to empower any state-licensed business of any kind to sue local governments for any kind of regulation. This guts local control on almost every issue.
If this gets passed, get ready for the real work ahead. That's right, the parties will have opened the door for an up-from-the-bottom independent voter revolt.
They will have brought it on themselves.
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