Wednesday, March 23, 2022

State Rep. Rick West's "Right to Garden" bill passes House

Right to Garden Passes House

OKLAHOMA CITY – Rep. Rick West, R-Heavener, this week won passage of a bill that will grant people the right to grow personal gardens regardless of where they live or any potential future government action that might seek to restrict such freedom.

House Bill 2979 creates the Oklahoma Right to Garden Act and prohibits local governments from regulating gardens on residential properties. The measure does not preclude local governments from regulating water use, fertilizer use or invasive species.

"The right to grow food for yourself or your family regardless of where you live is a primal right that goes all the way back to the Garden of Eden, and it should not be prohibited by esthetics, discrimination or governments," West said. "This has never been more important as people are experiencing very real food shortages with major supply chain issues, and the price of fuel and inflation are driving up prices at the grocery store."

West said while no municipality currently in Oklahoma prevents the right to grow a family garden, he's not convinced regulations or prohibitions couldn't come in the future. He's especially concerned about potential federal overreach in this area with the rise in concerning executive orders from the Biden Administration.

"When the government can force mandates that deny people the right to work, this might be the most important bill we passed," West said.

HB2979 next will be considered in the State Senate where it is authored by Sen. George Burns, R-Pollard.

Rick West serves District 3 in the Oklahoma House of Representatives. His district includes part of LeFlore County.


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