State Legislators Take Stance on Farm Bill Nutrition Title, King Amendment

The National Conference of State Legislatures is urging Congress to reauthorize federal nutrition programs that were left out of the House version of the farm bill. The organization of state legislators passed a policy resolution during its annual legislative summit Thursday. The group did not take a position on the House Majority Leader's proposal to make a 40-billion dollar cut to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program over 10 years because it has not been formalized. But in a letter sent regarding the House farm bill as it was coming before the House Agriculture Committee - the NCSL expressed a shared concern about the size of the federal deficit - but strong opposition to accomplishing the goal of trimming the deficit through disproportionate reductions in SNAP. The cuts they opposed were half the cuts Cantor has proposed.

NCSL has also sent a letter in opposition to the King provision that would stop states from passing laws and regulations forbidding the sale of agricultural products in other states on the grounds that the state objected to methods of production. The group states the provision would preempt vital state agricultural policies designed to protect the safety and well-being of farmland, waterways, forests and constituents. The letter points to the Tenth Amendment and the action of states to enact laws that protect their citizens from invasive pests and livestock diseases, maintain quality standards for all agricultural products and ensure food safety and unadulterated seed products. According to the NCSL letter - the King amendment violates the tenets of the Tenth Amendment and would have significant economic effects across the states.

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