CARBONDALE — While U.S. Rep. Mike Bost is at residence in the course of the Fourth of July vacation, he stopped by The Southern Illinoisan to speak about current legislation that handed by means of the U.S. House of Representatives.
One piece of legislation Bost talked about was the Agriculture and Nutrition Act of 2018, generally referred to as the farm invoice, which is legitimate by means of fiscal yr 2023.
It modifies U.S. Department of Agriculture packages that handle commodity help, conservation, commerce and worldwide food assist, nutrition help, farm credit score, rural improvement, analysis and extension actions, forestry, horticulture and crop insurance coverage.
“The farm bill, I believe, was a good bill. Now remember if you want to say it was a good bill, the ag side was wonderful. Understand the Senate is going to pass the ag side, then they almost going to take the old farm bill and just extend it,” Bost stated.
Bost stated one of the problems is his BALE Act, which provides new farmers a chance to get a secured financial institution loans. Bost had hoped to get $2.25 million in funding to safe the loans, up from the earlier farm invoice’s $1.5 million. They settled on $1.75 million.
“We’ve got the safety net, which is crop insurance which is vitally important,” Bost stated.
The Conservation Reserve Program, generally generally known as put aside, is maintained and strengthened, based on the House agriculture committee.
Bost stated there was a change within the greenback quantity that’s paid underneath put aside. The cause is the extent of put aside had been raised to the purpose that younger farmers needed to compete towards the federal government on crop manufacturing, which isn’t what the intent was. So, the invoice permits for extra acreage to be put aside in wiser locations.
“Let’s say, for instance, we shouldn’t have to take prime farm ground out of a lot of places in central Illinois and then pay at the level they were wanting to pay. However, where we should be able to take and get the set aside is along the banks of the Kaskasia River so that the crops are not planted to the edge,” Bost stated.
He added that planting to the sting brought on the topsoil run off, then the channels need to be dredged to maintain them open.
Bost stated the controversy appeared to be with the nutrition half of the invoice.
“I don’t know why it was controversial, except for the fact that my colleagues on the other side of the aisle said that under no circumstances were they voting for any ag bill that had a work requirement on the SNAP side,” Bost stated.
What was the work requirement? Bost stated the invoice requires recipients of Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP, from age 18 to 59 to hunt employment for 20 hours per week in the event that they weren’t pregnant, haven’t any youngsters youthful than 6 years previous, and are usually not bodily or mentally disabled. Those who can’t discover work should present they’re in search of employment of no less than 20 hours per week.
If a job is out there and you don’t have the training for that job, training can be offered to offer the individual the chance to work.
“We’re at the first time in our history that we have more jobs available than people to fill them. Why is that wrong to say that’s a requirement?” Bost stated. “I am all for helping people that are in need. But it was never supposed to be a system that is locked on for two or three or four generations. This actually encourages work in a sensible manner.”
Bost stated the work requirement doesn’t have an effect on seniors. Individuals and households obtain food stamps if they’re at 125 % of the poverty degree. For seniors, it goes to 235 %.
One provision of the invoice provides states the power to use for a waiver in counties with excessive unemployment and no jobs, like East St. Louis and Alexander County in Bost’s district. Bost stated each of these areas would qualify for a waiver.
“We’ve got to become sensible in encouraging people to go back to work. The current system isn’t working. It continues to grow more and more people on the programs that don’t get off,” Bost stated.
Based on USDA knowledge, present SNAP enrollment is at 40 million and unemployment is three.eight %, based on an e mail from Bost’s workplace. The final time unemployment was three.eight % was in 2000. SNAP enrollment then was 17 million. SNAP enrollment is down from its all-time peak of 48 million in 2013.
The House of Representatives returns to work July 10.