A regulatory reform bill for the agricultural industry has sailed through the General Assembly and was signed into law last week by Gov. Pat McCrory.
SB638 provides protections to farmers and "agri-tourism" interests against what its backers call frivolous lawsuits. It is also intended to make it easier for businesses to find insurance for petting zoos, educational programs and other operations; protect farmers' water rights when there are water shortages; and give agriculture leeway in building and maintaining dams.
Another provision keeps from public scrutiny livestock and poultry operations' business records that might personally identify them, while allowing the state veterinarian to make public information affecting health.
The bill's co-sponsors were Sen. Brent Jackson, a Republican from Sampson County, who is also a farmer, and Sen. Andrew Brock, a Republican from Davie County.
State Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler issued a statement thanking Jackson for his work on the bill.