I was very upset to find out that an “ag-gag” bill (House Bill 1104) was pre-filed in our state on Jan. 9 by state Rep. Joe Schmick, R-Colfax.
Ag-gag laws, which are basically anti-whistleblower laws, are very dangerous. If it suddenly becomes illegal to document cruelty or food safety violations on a farm, animals and the general population are put in danger.
This bill is also an affront to American values. The First Amendment protects freedom of speech and freedom of the press, but ag-gag denies both. In fact, an almost identical law in Idaho is now embroiled in the courts because it’s so constitutionally suspect.
HB 1104 has a hearing set for Tuesday, Jan. 20, in Olympia, and I hope the path of this bill stops there.