Last night, House members backed a bill (H.R. 3695) on a voice vote that would extend the 2008 farm bill through January 31. Although the bill is described as a short-term extension, it would be retroactive to September 30, the day the fiscal 2013 renewal and extension of the 2008 farm law (PL 110-246) expired. Senate Democratic leaders, however, have said they will not take up the short-term extension because it would ease pressure on negotiators to come up with a new farm bill. House and Senate farm bill conferees are working to finish by mid-January.
The budget deal for the 2013 Farm Bill has been released and it appears that the conservation easement programs have missed getting another haircut. Give yourself a hand: your outreach made the difference! Steady pressure on the Senate and House Agriculture Committees, as well as legislators in a position of leadership, has paid off.
Cost Share Waiver:
The waiver was still on the table and had risen to the level of the four primaries (Chair & Ranking member from both committees) during one of their face-to-face discussions. It is a feat in and of itself that it’s survived to this level – yet another example of land trust outreach and intestinal fortitude! Senator Michael Bennet (D-CO) has been a tireless advocate for this increased match flexibility.
Are We There Yet?
I wish I could tell you that the Farm Bill was a done deal, but that just isn’t our reality at this moment. However, it appears that the leadership on both sides have committed to getting a framework in place before year-end and pushing for a vote in early January.
If they don’t get something done before the January 15 deadline when the current budget expires, the legislation automatically reverts back to the 1949 Farm Bill rules, which no one wants to have happen for a whole host of reasons.
Continue to check our Farm Bill page and follow me on for the most recent updates.
Stay tuned and keep your fingers crossed!
P.S. This email list is for land trust leaders that are interested in Farm Bill. Please let me know if there are others at your land trust or Alliance members in your region who would like to subscribe.
Western Policy Manager | Land Trust Alliance
55810 ME Road | Collbran, CO 81624
970-487-9924 | Email