A controversial hog-farm-protection bill—cosponsored by State Representative Jimmy Dixon, who has taken more than $115,000 from Big Pork during his political career—passed its second reading Thursday in bizarre fashion.
The vote for the bill, HB 467—which protects farmers from myriad legal claims, including twenty-six active lawsuits filed against Murphy-Brown LLC, the hog division of China owned Smithfield Foods—was without debate Thursday afternoon. After it passed 70–42, several representatives said they wanted to change their votes, but a motion for a revote failed.Oddly enough, several moments later, the General Assembly’s website changedthe vote tally to 64–48.
HB 467 needs one more vote to clear the House. The companion Senate bill is in committee. We will continue to update this story as more informationabout what went down becomes available.