Republican legislators are changing their tune about state regulation of large-scale livestock confinements.Most G-O-P lawmakers have resisted changing the 1995 law which first established state rules for large livestock operations. Now, House Republican Leader Christopher Rants of Sioux City says republicans will consider the odor issue, the dramatic consolidation in the livestock industry and whether to increase penalties for not filing or adhering to manure management plans.Critics say the existing law’s too lax, and the most vocal opponents say local county boards of supervisors and city councils should be given the authority to say where and if hog confinements may be built. Senate Republican Leader Stewart Iverson of Dows says the Republican-controlled legislature won’t go that far by allowing that kind of local decision-making and will keep statewide standards in place. Republican lawmakers met yesterday in Des Moines to map out their priorities. Rants says they’ve agreed to spend the first month of the 2002 legislative session crafting a package of incentives for business investment.
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