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Honeyford introduces bills designed to aid farmers

OLYMPIA - Sen. Jim Honeyford (R-Sunnyside) has often declared that the state needs to support its farming communities with the same level of fairness granted to other industries.

Last week, Honeyford took major steps in ensuring that fairness when he introduced a series of farming bills, including legislation to strengthen the right to farm, Senate Bill 5076.

"This proposal recognizes that if our farms are going to survive, they need the flexibility to adapt, and sometimes that means changing practices," Honeyford said. "Without that flexibility, farmers are often forced to sell their land."

SB 5076 would help protect a farmer's right to change what he or she decides to farm without threat of a lawsuit.

In another effort to assist farming communities, Honeyford introduced Senate Bill 5077 to exempt propane fuel sold to farmers from the retail sales and use tax.

"Farmers face a number of challenges as it is, from trade to increased costs and burdensome regulations," Honeyford said. "Farming represents the largest employer in our state, and I want to make certain they are getting the support they need from the state."

Both SB 5077 and SB 5076 were referred to the Senate Agriculture and Rural Economic Development Committee.

Earlier last week, Honeyford introduced another farming bill, Senate Bill 5059, to lower the business and occupation tax rate for custom farming.

Honeyford was elected to the House of Representatives in 1994 and was elected to the Senate in 1998.

Sen. Jim Honeyford (R-Sunnyside)

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