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Lawmakers Approve Drought Relief for Farmers, Ranchers

The Oklahoma Legislature has appropriated $20 million to aid the agriculture industry across the state during the ongoing drought.

House Bill 1006XX designates $20 million to the Emergency Drought Relief Fund from any monies not otherwise appropriated from the General Revenue Fund of the State Treasury. During the regular session in the spring, lawmakers also approved House Bill 2959 to designate $3 million for the fund.

The fund was created in 2013 to provide funding for emergency drought relief activities once a drought emergency has been declared. Funds must be expended solely on efforts to relieve drought conditions.

Earlier this month, Gov. Kevin Stitt issued an emergency drought declaration to reactivate the emergency drought commission, which will determine how legislative appropriations are used. The commission is comprised of members from the state’s agriculture, water resources and conservation agencies.

HB1006XX was presented on the House floor Thursday morning by Rep. Dell Kerbs, R-Shawnee.

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