Florida Legislature Ready To Pay Former Pig Farmer

By: Associated Press Email
By: Associated Press Email

News Release: Associated Press News

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) -- The Florida Legislature is proposing to give $1.15 million to settle a case with a former Panhandle pig farmer who sued the state.

The House and Senate include the money in initial drafts of a new state budget released Thursday night.

Stephen Basford closed down his farm in Jackson County after voters in 2002 approved an amendment that prohibited the tying up or confining of gestating sows in enclosures too small for them to turn around freely.

Nearly 55 percent of the state's voters approved the amendment. The measure applied to just two farms in the state.

State legislators attempted to compensate the two farms but then-Gov. Jeb Bush vetoed the funding. Basford sued the state in 2010 for the cost of the barns and other equipment he had used for his farm.

Associated Press Release

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) -- A Florida appeals court is siding with a former pig farmer who says voters put him out of business.

The 1st District Court of Appeal ruled Wednesday that the state owes a Panhandle farmer $505,000 plus interest because he had to shut down his pig farm.

Stephen Basford closed down his pork production operation after voters approved an amendment in 2002 that banned the confinement of pregnant pigs. He sued the state in 2010 for the cost of the barns and other equipment he had used.

Lawyers with the state argued Basford had waited too long to sue. But the court sided with Basford because the amendment did not take effect until 2008.

The state also unsuccessfully argued Basford did not deserve compensation because he continued to raise other crops.

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