Oklahoma City, OK 73105
For Immediate Release: February 20, 2013
Sen. Ron Justice
Emergency Drought Protection Special Fund bill heads to
As Oklahoma struggles with one of the worst droughts
in the state’s history, Sen. Ron
Justice has filed legislation to provide the agriculture community
with financial assistance in emergency drought conditions. Senate
Bill 996, which was approved Wednesday by the Senate Appropriations
Committee, would create the Emergency Drought Protection Special
“Our farmers and ranchers’ livelihoods depend on water.
The current drought has forced these individuals to lose crops and
livestock because they don’t have the water available to sustain
them,” said Justice, R-Chickasha. “In some situations,
there are state and federal funds available to help these individuals
but not in all cases and that’s why we want to create this
special fund specifically for drought-related emergencies.”
The fund would be managed by the Oklahoma Conservation Commission
and will consist of certain funds appropriated to the commission.
Monies from the fund could only be spent when the Governor declares
a drought emergency to exist.
Monies would be used for drought response activities including,
among others, pond clean out and construction, water conservation
methods in production agriculture, providing water for livestock,
rural fire suppression activities as directed by the Oklahoma Department
of Agriculture, red cedar eradication, drought-related soil conservation
practices, and any other drought response activities identified
by the Governor.
All fund expenditures would be approved by the Commission with preference
given to funding activities that do not receive other legislative
SB 996 now goes before the full Senate.
For more information contact:
Sen. Justice: (405) 521-5537