Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Local Food Support/Industrial Hemp Among Springfield City Council Legislative Priorities

Springfield, MO - At the December 14, Springfield City Council meeting, a bill to adopt the bullet-point and sub-point legislative priorities of the City was approved. According to the City's summary of the Council meeting,

"Councilman Stephens made a motion to adopt Exhibit A, which summarizes the top priorities, while remanding the rest of the package back to Plans & Policies to review some of the language of the full policy."

Exhibit A included these topics: Maintain local control and avoid unfunded mandates; Red-light cameras and efficient traffic enforcement; Protect the natural environment and; Economic development and fighting poverty.

"Well-Fed Neighbor" readers will be interested to know, included in the language remanded back to the Plans and Policies Committee as the last entry in the category, "Economic Development and Fighting Poverty" are the words, "Support development of a stronger local food supply."

The language, which, again, will be reviewed by the Plans & Policies Committee, regarding support for the development of a stronger local food supply reads:

"Support local food

Local agriculture is key to providing a safe, secure, and reliable food supply for the citizens of Missouri.

We support farmers in our city limits and farmers nearby and we encourage legislation that will provide a stronger local food supply and remove barriers to the development of local food supplies or eliminate legislation that provides barriers."

Also of interest to "Well-Fed Neighbors" should be the information found in Tuesday's "Springfield News-Leader." Reporter Kary Booher recapped the Council meeting, reporting the City Council, "kicked back the body of the text -- including a suggestion for the state to remove restrictions on hemp in order to create new industries."

The language regarding the removal of restrictions on growing hemp, also remanded to be reviewed by the Plans & Policies Committee, read:

"Enhance The Economy By Removing Restrictions On Hemp to Create New Industries:

With the stroke of the pen, Missouri could create several new industries overnight. Agriculture, textiles, construction, alternative fuels, and many other areas would see an immediate boon in their markets. The cost of this type of government "investment" would be zero dollars. In fact, the savings that this could generate would be able to fund critical needs in other areas."

Support for a local food supply was proposed by Councilman Dan Chiles.

The proposal regarding removal of restrictions on growing hemp was brought by Councilman Doug Burlison.

For more information about what the Springfield City Council will be lobbying state and federal legislators about in 2010, and to read the bill, click here. If you would like to watch a video of the City Council meeting, it is available at "CityView."