North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper has vetoed legislation limiting certain monetary damages that neighbors of hog and poultry farm operations can collect if a court determines the stench from animal waste is officially a nuisance.
Cooper on Friday vetoed the measure, which he says gives special protection to one industry and opens the door to weakening civil actions in other nuisance matters.
The bill now returns to lawmakers for a possible override. The House and Senate approved the measure last week by veto-proof margins.
The measure would restrict compensatory damages in these civil cases up to the lost property value or rental value of affected properties. The bill was prompted by pending federal lawsuits against a large North Carolina hog producer, but these limits would not apply to these cases.
South Carolina Looking at a Significant Rise in Gas Taxes
A legislative panel has tentatively agreed to increase South Carolina’s gas tax by 12 cents over six years to help fund road construction.
A committee trying to craft a compromise between the House and Senate’s road-funding plans voted Friday to hike the tax by 12 cents. It was the first major decision by the committee. It essentially adopts the Senate’s version on the gas tax, without an inflation factor. House members said they could not approve letting the tax rise with inflation after six years.
The House’s version increased the tax by 10 cents over five years.
The panel is trying to come up with a plan that can receive a supermajority vote in both chambers to override Gov. Henry McMaster’s promised veto.
Record Low Drought Coverage in the US
USDA meteorologist Brad Rippey discusses a new record low for US drought coverage, and compares totals to previous record low coverage.
“This week we are looking 4.89% of the contiguous US in drought, and that breaks the record that was set last week, 6.11%, and that breaks the previous record that was set back in 2010. So, again, record low drought in the 17-year history of the US drought monitor.
“Now, just looking at color on the map, and that does include the abnormally dry category, or D-0, that is also easily, a record low this week, just 14.31% of the country in D-0 through D-4 and that easily breaks the record of 21.35% that had been set in mid-June of 2010.”