JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — The Missouri Senate has passed a bill to block local officials from regulating industrial farms more strictly than the state does.
Senators voted 23-11 Thursday to send the bill to the House.
The measure sparked an overnight debate earlier this week over the environmental impact of large farms, local control and actions by some county officials that critics say threaten to regulate industrial farms out of existence.
Supporters of the bill say it will help ensure farmers can make a living in rural Missouri.
Industrial farms known as concentrated animal feeding operations allow for more efficient production of beef, pork, poultry, dairy and eggs. They've also stoked concerns about air and water pollution.
Lawmakers face a May 17 deadline to pass legislation.