News

Revised Clean Water Rule Is Refined and Improved

On May 27, 2015, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers finalized the Clean Water Rule to protect the streams and wetlands that form the foundation of the nation’s water resources from pollution and degradation.
 
Water is life… for people, crops, livestock, and wildlife as well as farms, ranches, business and industry. The proposed Clean Water Rule is a crucial step in clearing the regulatory waters and protecting the quality of America’s surface waters, our most vital natural resource.
 

Montana Passes Compromise Medicaid Expansion Bill

In late April, lots more eyes than normal were on the Montana legislature. Legislators were debating the Montana Health and Economic Livelihood Partnership (HELP) Act, which expands Medicaid to everyone below 138% of the federal poverty line. 

A coalition of legislators from both political parties passed the bill despite some procedural tricks designed to block legislators from bringing the bill to a vote. It passed both houses, and was signed by Governor Bullock. 

Grant Seeking Projects Designed for Positive, Long-Term Impact in Iowa, Nebraska, South Dakota or Wyoming

Farm Credit Services of America (FCS America) is seeking grant applications for up to $2,000 each in grant funds for projects and organizations designed to make a positive, long-term impact in Iowa, Nebraska, South Dakota or Wyoming in the areas of agricultural education, young and beginning producers, and hunger and nutrition. 

Saving Families from the Financial Ledge: Medicaid Expansion in Nebraska

For modest-income families in Nebraska expanding Medicaid is a no-brainer. Not only does it provide access to needed health insurance and health care, it provides a host of positive economic benefits.
 
According to a recent report from Dr. Allan Jenkins and Dr. Ron Konecny of the University of Nebraska at Kearney, expanding Medicaid in Nebraska would result in an increase of $1,100 in discretionary income per enrollee in an expanded Medicaid program, or a total of $88 million statewide.
 

USDA Farming Rule Creates New Loopholes

A draft rule issued by USDA aims to define what it means to be ‘actively engaged’ in farming. The proposed rule makes some important changes, but those improvements are immediately undermined by two new loopholes introduced in the rule.
 
The draft rule, somewhat unabashedly, only applies to farms that are large enough to “require” quadruple the statutory limit. You can abuse the rules, as long as you only abuse them up to $500,000 ($1 million if you’re married) each year.
 

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