Kansas legislators have begun the work of attempting to override three bills affecting agriculture that were vetoed by Gov. Kathleen Seblieus.
The first, the Energy and Regulatory Certainty Bill, would allow Sunflower Electric Power cooperative to build two new coal-fired plants near Holcomb and would limit the authority of the secretary of the Kansas Department of Health and Environment to regulate substances beyond the provisions of state statues.
The bill, which would pump billions of dollars into the economy of rural Kansas, passed the Senate by a veto–proof margin in the Senate but fell five votes short in the House.
The second bill would have required that milk labeled as being free of bovine growth hormone would have to also bear a label saying the FDA has found no difference in milk from cows treated with hormones and milk from untreated cows. Groups opposing biotechnology and producers of hormone-free milk pushed the governor to veto the bill.
Mainstream milk producers and groups supporting science-based regulation supported the labeling requirement, saying using the hormone-free label alone would lead consumers to believe milk from treated cows was dangerous to their health.
The third veto went to a bill that would have clarified the Kansas Department of Revenue ruling on the valuation of ag land for estate taxes.
The bill would have made it law to value agricultural land at its use value. The Department of Revenue has ruled that ag land owned by limited liability companies, corporations and other ownership arrangements should be valued at fair market price.