MO law limits power of county health officials

Missouri Governor Mike Parson signed House Bill 271 into law limiting the power of county health officials in the state impacting their oversight on agriculture related issues.

Missouri Soybean Association Executive Director and CEO Gary Wheeler tells Brownfield similar legislation already existed in the state, but clarification was needed.

“It included a provision that the fixed what a court interpreted to be a weak spot in Senate Bill 391 which was the previous bill we passed a few years ago dealing with all these local ordinances on CAFOs,” Wheeler said.

He said the COVID-19 pandemic highlighted the potential for county officials to ‘overreach’ through public health orders leading to concerns about county level farming restrictions.

“The intent was to leave such a regulation to the state department of natural resources,” Wheeler said. “And again, [to] the scientific experts within their team to clarify those issues,”

Wheeler said the legislation helps sustain and grow Missouri agriculture.

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