Farm Policy News

Unicameral Update - week of Jan. 23

Welcome back to the Center for Rural Affairs Unicameral Update. We are returning to provide legislative updates from a rural perspective. The 2017 session is a “long” session – legally mandated to be 90 days in length. The Legislature opened on Jan. 4, 2017, and is tentatively scheduled to adjourn on June 2, 2017.

The deadline for bill introduction was Jan. 18. Each bill introduced will be heard in one of 14 standing committees. Committee hearings begin in mid-January and last through early March.

Below is a selection of priority bills we are following.

Big issues for Nebraska and Iowa in 2017

Elected representatives in Nebraska and Iowa will debate a host of contentious issues during the 2017 legislative session. Important items to be debated include budget and tax, health care, energy and environment, and food and agriculture. This article is a preview of select topics that will receive our attention.

Relevant developments concerning priority legislation will be shared via the Center for Rural Affairs Legislative Update.

Fairness in the livestock industry; USDA comment deadline is Feb. 21

In the final hours of the Obama administration, USDA released three rules for public comment that would increase protections for poultry and livestock farmers. Meat processors were quick to decry these new rules, but for you and other supporters of the Center for Rural Affairs who have advocated for these rules for many years, this was an important and long-awaited step forward.

If you don’t raise livestock, though, you might not understand what all the fuss is about, or what these rules aim to solve. Here’s a breakdown.

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