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Chickens on the Senate floor

Republican Sen. J. Lowell Stoltzfus announced this morning that the state has issued a reprieve for Eastern Shore farmers – for the next 30 days they can burn their chicken houses. Senators applauded the development, causing us to scratch our head.

Turns out the recent two-punch snow storm caused 50 chicken houses to collapse in and around Stoltzfus' district. Dragging the broken buildings to the dump could cost farmers $45K to $60K in fees, Stoltzfus said. The farmers would prefer to pour a few gallons of gas on the structures and light a match.

But, the Maryland Department of the Environment just promulgated new regs barring burning. Stoltzfus began complaining about those rules on the Senate floor earlier this week, and by today, he said the Department agreed to wait another month before implementing the new rule.

Stoltzfus is not sure if the extension permits all types of burning, or just the burning of chicken houses. If we get a minute later today we'll ask.

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