By George Ashford and Jason Kaplan
SILVER SPRING, Md.– For the past few weeks, Sen. Chris Van Hollen has been pushing an act to add increased funds to this year’s Farm Bill.
The Farm Bill is a piece of omnibus legislation concerning food and agriculture regulations passed by Congress every five years.
Called the Chesapeake Bay Farm Bill Enhancements Act, Van Hollen’s addition to the bill was introduced in November 2017.
Van Hollen’s proposal will change the upcoming Farm Bill to further benefit Bay-area farmers, aid in conservation and support anti-pollution efforts.
The bill would triple the funding, which currently stands at $1 million, for the grant system in place for private organizations who enter a partnership with the government in contributing to environmental protection efforts.
According to a press release by Van Hollen’s office, “The bill has broad, bipartisan support from the Governors of Maryland, Delaware, Pennsylvania, West Virginia and the Mayor of Washington, D.C…. [and] over 70 different organizations such as the Chesapeake Bay Commission, the Chesapeake Bay Foundation and the Choose Clean Water Coalition.”
The original Chesapeake Bay Farm Bill Enhancements Act was introduced and passed by Van Hollen as a part the 2008 Farm Bill and remained in the 2013 Farm Bill, according to the press release.
The full text of the bill can be found here.
Correction: A previous version of this article stated that Senator Van Hollen serves on the Agriculture Committee. Sen. Van Hollen no longer serves on this committee. He is now on the Environment and Public Works Committee, as well as the Budget, Appropriations, and Banking Committees.