- Associated Press - Friday, January 22, 2016

LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) - Nebraska is one step closer to lifting its ban on hogs owned by meatpackers.

Supporters overcame a filibuster on Friday and gave the measure second-round approval with a 32-12 vote. They tout the measure as a way to help Nebraska’s hog industry, which has grown slower than in several nearby states.

But critics say the bill would give large packers too much leverage over small farms by allowing them to control the entire supply chain.

They also criticized Smithfield Foods, a Chinese-owned pork processor that has quietly lobbied for the bill and contributed to at least 20 current state lawmakers, Gov. Pete Ricketts and Attorney General Doug Peterson.

One final vote is needed before the bill goes to Ricketts.

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The bill is LB176


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