Missouri State Representative Chris Kelly says there won’t be enough votes to override the governor’s veto on the omnibus ag bill during the upcoming veto session. Kelly, who helped author the landmark dairy portion of the bill, says special interests are responsible for attaching the part of the bill that would move the regulation of captive deer to the state Department of Agriculture away from the Conservation Department.
Kelly says, “The extreme point of view with regard to captive deer got into the bill and the Republican leadership refused to take any amendments on the floor to remove it. So that’s why the governor had to veto the bill.”
Kelly, a Democrat from Columbia, says wildlife biologists, scientists and the entire Missouri Conservation Federation – made up of many thousands of hunters – oppose that part of the bill. Kelly says, “It’s just no way the veto is going to get overridden. We know that we have the votes to block it.”
Kelly helped write the dairy portion of the bill. He tells Brownfield Ag News, “And it’s going to cost ‘em some stuff that I really like. The dairy stuff, the beef stuff is good and important. But, you can’t allow that degree of special interest in legislation.”
Kelly says protecting Missouri deer from Chronic Wasting disease is huge, adding, “Wisconsin’s entire deer industry is in the tanks over Chronic Wasting Disease and that’s exactly where we’re going if we don’t deal with this.” The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, however, indicates otherwise. To date, it has analyzed more than 185,000 deer statewide, 2,500 have tested positive. Of those, only 13 positives were found outside the CWD Management Zone in southern Wisconsin.
Kelly predicts the deer bill will not be separated from the omnibus Ag Bill in the September veto session and won’t come up again in the 2015 legislative session. He tells Brownfield he believes, only then, will a stand-alone ag bill pass without difficulty. By then, Kelly will have retired.