Weekly Column

Expanding Health Care Coverage is a Smart Investment

Hard-working Montana families need the security of quality health care. A bill in the legislature, HB 458, could help 69,000 Montanans gain that security. These people are your neighbors - farmers and ranchers, small business owners, retirees, and entrepreneurs that don’t get health insurance from their employers.

HB 458 would expand Montana’s Medicaid program, and create an estimated 12,000 to 16,000 jobs over the next 8 years. Over $2 billion would return to Montana’s economy in that same time period as a result of increased economic activity in the health sector.

Tax Plan not Common Sense for Nebraska

On Friday, Governor Dave Heineman delivered the details of his proposed tax plan at a press conference in Lincoln. At the Center for Rural Affairs, we believe that Nebraska should be cautious about dramatic shifts in tax policy. We are concerned that this proposal will hinder the state’s ability to invest in building a better future for all Nebraskans.

Conservation Gets Kicked to the Curb

On January 1, Congress passed the fiscal cliff legislation that included a nine-month extension of the farm bill that slashes investment in the future of family farms, ranches and small town America.

However, the fiscal cliff farm bill extension failed to fix a mistake included in spending legislation back in the beginning of October that prevented USDA from conducting a 2013 farmer and rancher sign-up for the Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP).

Farm Bill Extension Debacle

In the waning hours of 2012, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) and Vice President Joe Biden negotiated a nine-month extension of the Farm Bill. The extension, which was attached to the fiscal cliff legislation passed by Congress on January 1, slashes investment in the future of family farms, ranches and rural small towns.

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