Make Them Hear You! is a weekly feature on KGNU, produced by Chris Mohr, letting listeners know how they can have their voices heard on issues up before Congress. You can hear it Wednesday mornings at 8.20am during the Morning Magazine.
Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018 (S. 3042) A bill to provide for the reform and continuation of agricultural and other programs of the Department of Agriculture through fiscal year 2023, and for other purposes. Has also been submitted to the House as H.R. 2 (same title)
Republican Pat Roberts is the Sponsor, the Senior Senator for Kansas, but it has strong bipartisan support.
A couple weeks ago, on a vote of 20-1, the Senate Agriculture Committee approved a Senate
Farm Bill (S. 3042) that protects SNAP benefit levels and eligibility against Trump administration cuts, keeps food on the table for
struggling low-income people, preserves important state options, and makes modest changes to
program operations. A number of the provisions build on SNAP’s many features and overall the bill
avoids the very harmful SNAP changes that are contained in the House Farm Bill (H.R. 2).
S. 3042’s SNAP provisions aim to:
● Reduce SNAP participation barriers for older adults and persons with disabilities
● Modify SNAP Employment and Training (SNAP E&T) operations by increasing partnerships with state and local workforce entities to serve individuals with substantial barriers to employment.
● Allow retail food stores to offer incentives to SNAP customers to purchase certain fruits, vegetables, low-fat dairy, and whole grains).
● Strengthen the Food Distribution Program on Indian reservations
● Reauthorize The Emergency Food Assistance Program (TEFAP
● Reauthorize the Commodity Supplemental Food Program (CSFP) that serves food-insecure seniors
● Provide permanent mandatory funding for the Gus Schumacher Food Insecurity Nutrition Incentive
● Extend/reauthorize several additional programs at current levels through FY 2023.
Many of these programs were facing deep cuts in the Trump administration’s budget. If you have thoughts about the Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018 (S. 3042) or HR2, the House version, you can contact your congressperson or Senators this week.