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February 14, 2013

“Boneta Bill” gets killed, 11-4, in Senate committee

Photo/Jessica Dahlberg
"Boneta Bill” supporters rally at the State Capitol last month.
Martha Boneta discusses her zoning battle with Fauquier County at a Richmond press conference with Del. Scott Lingamfelter in January.
UPDATE: Fauquier County government officials said that the "Boneta Bill" died this afternoon, Thursday, Feb. 14, in a Virginia Senate committee.

The Senate Committee on Agriculture, Conservation and Natural Resources voted, 11-4, to kill the legislation, Deputy County Administrator Katie Heritage said in an e-mail at 5:04 p.m.

FauquierNow will provide details as they become available.

The Richmond Times-Dispatch has called for the Virginia General Assembly to pass the “Boneta Bill,” which started with a farm market dispute in Fauquier County.

“The real issue at stake in the Boneta Bill is a familiar one: the tension between government power and economic liberty,” the newspaper says in an editorial published Thursday. “Boneta’s experience provides a real-world example of the harm that can result when local officials think farmers should be accountable to them, but not vice versa.

“The assembly should disabuse them of that notion by sending the Boneta Bill to the governor’s desk for signing.”

Del. Scott Lingamfelter (R-Woodbridge), who represents the New Baltimore area of Fauquier, introduced House Bill 1430. After amendments, it passed the House, 77-22.

A Senate subcommittee will consider the legislation Thursday afternoon.
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nova_gjones · February 14, 2013 at 6:21 pm
If my neighbor wants to sell tomatoes, by the road, If my daughter sells lemonade, and if a local farmer wants to sell me his eggs I think it is my right to buy and I don't believe the tyranny of local government should inhibit this. Permits? Zoning? Phuti!!! IT WON'T MAKE THE LEMONADE ANY BETTER AND THE TOMATO ANY SWEETER TO BE FORCED TO PERMIT IT OR ZONE IT. GOVERNMENT IS TOO BIG AND USELESS. I WANT MY TOMATO!!! And I don't want it from the Big Corporate Food entities. The heck the farmer is protected! I can't buy my tomato at the road side with you government. He is gaged, roped, and bullied by the BOS. @Mike I don't believe a word you have to write.
nova_gjones · February 14, 2013 at 6:09 pm
Who was in this committee and how can I contact them? Thanks
Mike M · February 14, 2013 at 4:15 pm
The PR about this bill that has been promulgated by its supporters has been, at the least, full of misinformation and, at its worst, full of outright distortions of the truth. The patron and others promoting the bill are not concerned about farmers being able to produce and sell what they grow so much as they would like to eviscerate the zoning laws. The current laws do protect the rights of farmers. This bill is unneeded and unwarranted.
nova_gjones · February 14, 2013 at 3:16 pm
I wish this bill success. I for one just want the option to purchase food from local farms and not just the big corporate food entities.
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