Explore our content

All types | All dates | All authors
Farm Bill

Pages

PI Original
by Ellyn Fortino
3:48pm
Tue Oct 28, 2014

Election Preview: A Look At The 'Toss-Up' 12th Congressional District Race

Progress Illinois profiles the state's 12th congressional district race, which is considered to be a "toss-up."

Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
5:26pm
Wed Jun 18, 2014

Most Illinois Congressional Members Get Passing Grades On National Poverty Scorecard

Six Democratic members of the Illinois Congressional Delegation had a perfect voting record in 2013 on legislation important to people living in poverty, according to a new scorecard and report published by the Sargent Shriver National Center on Poverty Law.

Meanwhile, no Republican Congressmen from Illinois earned a grade higher than a 'D' on the center's 2013 Poverty Scorecard, which looked at the voting record of every U.S. senator and representative on poverty-related issues during the last calendar year. The scores were tabulated based on 18 votes taken in the House and Senate on legislation covering a variety of subject areas including budget and tax, food and nutrition, health care, immigrants, cash assistance, domestic violence, education and the workforce, to name a few.

Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
4:29pm
Thu Jan 9, 2014

Report Highlights SNAP Reform Proposals Meant To Reduce Hunger, Promote Nutrition

The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) is a crucial anti-hunger and anti-poverty tool, but a handful of reforms are needed to boost the program's overall effectiveness, argues Diane Whitmore Schanzenbach, an associate professor at Northwestern University's School of Education and Social Policy.

About one in eight U.S. families depend on SNAP benefits, at about $1.40 per meal, for food aid. More than 2 million people in Illinois rely on the $80-billion-a-year program, which has helped to reduce hunger and rates of food insecurity in the country, while also providing support to families who face unexpected economic setbacks.

In a recent discussion paper for the Hamilton Project, Schanzenbach noted that despite the program's successes, obesity rates in the nation are still high, the method of determining food aid benefits is outdated and SNAP coverage during economic recessions needs to be improved.

PI Original
by Aricka Flowers
2:40pm
Thu Oct 17, 2013

Government Shutdown Ends, Debt Ceiling Crisis Averted — For Now

The federal government is now open, workers are back on the job and the debt ceiling deadline of October 17 was barely met following a late night for Congress and the president. Progress Illinois takes a look the new deal, the effects of the government shutdown and what's next for Congress.

Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
5:18pm
Mon Aug 19, 2013

Duckworth Discusses 'Disturbing' Cuts To SNAP At Suburban Meeting

Recent federal proposals to slash billions of dollars from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) are something that U.S. Rep. Tammy Duckworth (D, IL-8) says she takes personally.

“I was hungry as a child,” the congresswoman said at a Monday roundtable discussion in Arlington Heights on hunger and SNAP cuts.

When Duckworth was in high school, her father lost his job and was unemployed for about fours years. During that time, Duckworth’s family relied on SNAP, or food stamps. But even with SNAP assistance, Duckworth said she often had to save items from her school breakfast and lunch to avoid going hungry during the weekend.

“It just disturbs me that in the greatest nation in the world, one of the richest nations on the face of the earth, we have kids who go to bed hungry ... we have seniors who go to bed hungry,” Duckworth said. “We have adults who have to choose between medicine or food, and that’s just simply wrong.”

Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
2:26pm
Wed Aug 14, 2013

Illinois SNAP Recipients To See Benefits Cut By $220 Million This Fall

Two million people in Illinois who rely on the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) will see their food aid cut this fall when a temporary benefit increase as part of the 2009 American Reinvestment and Recovery Act ends.

Illinois SNAP recipients will see their collective benefits slashed by $220 million once the temporary increase expires October 31, the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities estimates.

Starting in November, a family of three can expect to see a $29 reduction in monthly SNAP benefits. That's a $319 cut from this coming November through September 2014, the end of the federal fiscal year. Benefits will be reduced $11 for a single-person household, $20 for a two-person household and $36 for a family of four.

Quick Hit
by Ashlee Rezin
11:51am
Wed Jul 17, 2013

Consumer Advocates Demand Congress End Farm Bill Subsidies To Food Additive Production, Corporate Farms

If lawmakers are interested in cutting costs during the 2013 reauthorization of the farm bill, they should reduce wasteful spending on subsidies that support processed food additives and already profitable agribusiness corporations, according to members of the consumer advocacy group, U.S. PIRG.

“The way our subsidies are distributed right now is a strong example of how skewed our system is,” said Dani Neuharth-Keusch, assistant community outreach director for Illinois PIRG, who spoke at a press conference Tuesday to release the nationwide research group’s new report, “Apples to Twinkies 2013.”

Federally subsidized crop insurance is intended to help farmers manage the risk inherent to their business. According to the report, the current farm bill, enacted in 2008, fails to “appropriately direct federal dollars” with subsidies that “mirror a pattern of special interest influence.”

“We need to push back against subsidies skewed toward big agribusiness and inadequate subsides for fresh produce,” said Neuharth-Keusch.

Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
8:14pm
Mon Jun 3, 2013

New Report Highlights Need To Reform The Farm Bill's Sugar Program

Changes made to the federal sugar program in the 2008 farm bill have caused sugar prices to spike to record levels, which hurts businesses, manufacturers and consumers, a new report from the food and agriculture consulting company Agralytica shows.

Extra consumer costs due to the 2008 farm bill have tallied about $3.7 billion each year, according to the report (PDF) released Monday. Currently, sugar prices in the United States are about 46 cents per pound, which is higher than 28 cents per pound under the 2002 farm bill.

Sugar producers in the United States and Mexico have responded to the high prices in the U.S. market by expanding sugar production by 20 percent to 25 percent, said Agralytica’s Vice President Tom Earley.

The 2008 changes have made “a bad program even worse and have destabilized the U.S. sugar market,” said Earley, who is also an agricultural economist and trade policy specialist.

“Now we have too much sugar that’s driving prices down that’s going to result in significant costs for the government,” he explained.

Pages