To be beaten in a game when you’re on the field and playing hard – that’s a defeat you can live with. To be beaten in a game that you didn’t even know had started – that’s just not fair. The good news is, we are not beaten yet. But it’s a bitter pill to swallow knowing that legislators and special interest groups hid behind a tiny piece of legislation aimed at 4H poultry projects to try and pull a fast one on Ohio’s citizens. Enter the “Chicken Bill” – HB 507. And yes, all the puns I could make, I have, and you are welcome to recreate them in your own mind as well. Pun absolutely intended – the bill is chicken &#%!.
HB 507 was originally written to change minimum lot size for poultry sales in a quirky reform requested by 4H kids. Essentially, 4H participants had to buy more chicks than were needed to complete their 4H project; hence, changing the minimum lot size from 6 to just 3. This bill was literally for the kids, the chicks, and let’s be honest – I’m sure 4H parents supported the reform as well.
Enter nefarious politicking.
Thanks to admissions from publicly elected officials and some investigative digging, we now know that HB 507 was then co-opted to include a couple major provisions related to energy development in the state. One change would codify natural gas as a “green” energy source within the Buckeye State. A second batch of amendments seeks to ramrod oil and gas leasing process on Ohio’s public lands – state parks, state forests, and state wildlife areas – and strip away important public input processes at the same time. All this hiding inside the so-called “Chicken Bill” now awaiting signature on Governor Mike Dewine’s desk after passage from the Ohio House (vote 59-33).
We aren’t defeated yet, but honestly – we didn’t get the memo that a game was being played until the final whistle almost blew. Help us beat the “Chicken Bill” and urge Governor Mike Dewine to pick up his pen veto this bill to send it packing.