NC Senator Brent Jackson (R-Sampson) whose district includes Johnston County said Friday that he was disappointed Gov. Roy Cooper vetoed a House Bill designed to protect farmers from nuisance lawsuits.
“I am incredibly disappointed in Gov. Cooper for once again turning his back on family farmers and rural North Carolina and putting out-of-state trial lawyers first with this misguided veto,” Senator Jackson said.
House Bill 467 – Agriculture and Forestry Nuisance Remedies – is a bill that limits compensatory damages allowable in nuisance lawsuits against agricultural operations to the fair market value of the plaintiff’s property. This legislation was in response to hundreds of nuisance lawsuits filed against farm operations across eastern N.C. demanding that famers pay exorbitant monetary amounts many times higher than the actual property value. The bill was broadly supported by the farming community and passed both chambers of the legislature by wide margins.
Jackson said this is not the first time Governor Cooper has refused to stand up for farmers and rural North Carolina. “He was missing in action when the EPA tried to radically expand its jurisdiction with the Waters of the U.S. rule. This rule was proposed in 2015 and sought to drastically expand the definition of “waters of the United States” under the federal Clean Water Act to include all “navigable waterways” in our country, which would include intermittent ponds and streams. Then-Attorney General Roy Cooper refused to join the other 30 states that took legal action to protect their citizens from the EPA’s abuse of federal power and subversion of states’ rights.”