We stand opposed to Oklahoma State Question 777. Our Voices Count.
Oklahomans must not agree to give up our rights to demand action and accountability from our elected state officials and state regulatory agencies.
It is imperative that the Legislature continues to consider and enact laws and regulations on agriculture practices that impact public health, water and air quality, soil conservation, property rights and other critical issues.
Learn more by downloading and sharing the following files:
SQ777 Talking Points
Municipal Draft Resolution Opposing SQ777
Municipal Sign On Letter
SQ777 Opposition PowerPoint
The Oklahoma Legislature passed HJR 1012 during the Fifty-Fifth Legislature, First Regular Session authorizing a proposed amendment to Article II of the Oklahoma Constitution forever guaranteeing the rights of farmers and ranchers to engage in farming and ranching practices and prohibiting the Oklahoma Legislature from passing any law which abridges the right of farmers and ranchers to employ agricultural technology and livestock production and ranching practices without a compelling state interest. This measure has been designated as SQ777 and will be on the ballot for a vote of Oklahoma’s citizens on November 8, 2016.
While I wholeheartedly recognize and appreciate the role of the agricultural industry to the economy and culture of the State of Oklahoma, SQ777 grants special constitutional protections to an entire industry not enjoyed by the rest of the citizens of Oklahoma and takes away our ability to protect our property rights, water quality, and food safety.
Under SQ777, existing laws preserving water quality, water quantity, and land use protections could be rolled back at the Legislature, making it nearly impossible to strengthen or implement those provisions without extensive, costly litigation. This places our policymaking in the hands of the courts and the federal government!
Many Oklahoma municipalities are saddled with burdensome expenses related to the maintenance and care of their water supply and infrastructure, in addition to compliance with mandates from the United States Environmental Protection Agency. Under SQ777, the inability to regulate the impact from agricultural runoff, fertilizer, and animal waste will result in more polluted water, increasing the extensive financial burden for municipal water infrastructure maintenance. That means we pay more taxes.
We are all part of the food system in Oklahoma, either as producers or consumers. We have a vested interest in determining what goes into our food and how it is produced. SQ777 takes away food transparency and turns over food production standards to large, multi-national corporations.
Therefore, we, the undersigned, will be voting NO on SQ777 in November and urge my friends, family, and neighbors to protect our water, our properties, and our rights by voting NO on SQ777. Our Voices Count.