Disaster-Relief Legislation for Ag Passes in House, Stalls in Senate

Jaci Schreckengost Legislative, Top Posts

An $81 billion disaster-relief package passed in the U.S. House on Thursday but stalled in the Senate, slowing down needed aid for those affected by natural disasters in 2017.

The package includes money that would be used for damage suffered by vegetable and specialty crop growers impacted by Hurricane Irma. Money from this legislation would help growers get back on their feet following a challenging 2017.

Relief from this package would help growers all throughout the Southeast, as well as in other areas of the United States.

Adam Putnam, Florida Commissioner of Agriculture, said in a press release on Dec. 19, “Florida’s farmers, ranchers and growers suffered unprecedented damage from Hurricane Irma, and today’s announcement of proposed emergency funding for Florida agriculture is the first bit of good news we’ve heard in months.”

Mike Sparks, CEO of Florida Citrus Mutual, also commented on the bill. “We’re disappointed, certainly,” he said, “But we look forward to early next year in the first two or three weeks of January to get that legislation passed.” To hear the rest of Sparks’ comments on the legislation, see this article on the Southeast AgNet website.

The Senate’s decision on the disaster-relief package will be postponed until 2018. Updates on the legislation will continue in the new year.

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Jaci Schreckengost

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