- Associated Press - Tuesday, April 7, 2015

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - Opponents say a measure to give preference for state grants to Missouri counties that meet an “agri-ready” designation standard will hurt counties with public health ordinances.

The Missouri House gave an initial approval Tuesday to a measure that would set standards for a state agriculturally friendly county designation.

The counties would have to meet various requirements - including not having any health or zoning standards that could discourage agricultural operations or have standards for agricultural operations more stringent than state ones.

Democratic lawmakers who oppose the measure say it pits rural counties against each other and hurts those that protect their air and water.

Supporters say the counties can change their rules and get the designation.

The measure would boost counties with the designation in grant applications to the state.

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