A plan to toughen state regulations for large-scale livestock operations was finally revealed this afternoon. Twelve legislators have been meeting in secret since January to develop the bill. Democrats have pushed for “local control” — letting local officials decide where large-scale confinements may and may not be built. Senate Democrat Leader Michael Gronstal of Council Bluffs says he’s hopeful the bill will give people a voice inside their communities while protecting Iowa’s land, water and air.The bill will not go as far as many critics, and many democrats, suggest, but republican House Speaker Brent Siegrist of Council Bluffs says it wouldn’t be feasible to let city and county officials decide where large-scale hog lots may be built. He says he doesn’t think 99 sets of local controls are the way to go.House Democrat Leader Dick Myers of Iowa City says without “local control”, there’s no real progress. He says it’s a mistake to mislead people with some sort of “fig leaf” legislation.The Senate will debate the proposal next week.
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