We strengthened regulations for the construction of landfills this session, requiring companies to prove they have adequate funding to maintain, close, and provide post-closure maintenance for a landfill. Several companies had planned to build landfills in
The state's Land for Tomorrow Initiative will get $120 million in bond money to protect our forests, parks and greenways, historic areas, wildlife sanctuaries, and stream borders from development. The Land for Tomorrow partnership is a coalition of people and organizations throughout the state that is promoting the preservation of 1 million acres in
An important change to the "present use value" tax rate system has passed the House and is eligible for consideration in the short session. I introduced House Bill 1889, with Representatives Brubaker, Gibson, and Hill, which would remove a disincentive for conservation that exists in the present use value system. Under current law, if a property owner takes a land out of cultivation and turns it over to wildlife or conservation management, he or she must pay a large tax penalty. This bill creates a new category of present use value for such instances, and was approved overwhelmingly by the House at the end of the session, despite opposition from the counties, Farm Bureau, and Forestry Association. I was proud of my colleagues for recognizing the problem and supporting this bill which we have been working on for over 5 years.