Sunday, September 25, 2022

Play

The health-care subsidy extension a relief for small businesses; Consumer groups press for a bill to reform credit reporting; and an international group aims to transform how people view peace and conflict.

Play

Condemnation of Russian war on Ukraine continues at the U.N, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi says there's need for worker training to rebuild Puerto Rico, the House takes on record corporate profits while consumers struggle with inflation.

Play

The Old Farmer's Almanac predicts two winters across the U.S., the Inflation Reduction Act could level the playing field for rural electric co-ops, and pharmacies are dwindling in rural America.

IL Budget Crunch Leaves Ag Conservation Funds in Danger

Play

Wednesday, May 26, 2021   

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - Some Illinois farmers say they want to help protect natural resources, but incentives are crucial to making that happen. A coalition tied to these efforts says lawmakers can't allow a key funding source to fall through the cracks.

As the General Assembly tries to meet its Monday budget deadline, agriculture and conservation groups are asking for more robust funding for a program that offers grants for improving soil health. It's due to expire this summer if lawmakers don't act.

Champaign-area farmer Steve Steirwalt, who uses methods such as cover crops, said not having an extra incentive for these practices could turn some producers off to the movement.

"It's difficult to get us farmers to adopt different practices that we don't know very well," he said. "it's going to take us some years to really learn because that introduces risk, and that's one of the few things that we can control is our practices."

Supporters are calling for an increase of $4 million for the program. While there's no clear opposition, the pandemic recovery and redistricting are commanding more attention as state budget talks wind down.

Liz Rupel, policy organizer for the Illinois Stewardship Alliance, said more money for the Partners for Conservation Fund could help the state more aggressively meet the goals outlined for a strategy to reduce harmful runoff from farms.

"As far as the wastewater side of things, we're doing OK," she said, "but the agriculture side, we do need some more work."

The goals, established in 2015, call for a 45% reduction in nitrogen and phosphorus going into Illinois waterways by 2025. The ten groups that make up the coalition are asking lawmakers to include the proposal in any final spending plan. And while Illinois' revenues have rebounded, the state still faces a deficit of $1.3 billion.


get more stories like this via email
Nonprofit organizations employed nearly 30,000 Montanans in 2019. (Artur/Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

The work of some nonprofit organizations has only increased with the pandemic and the needs that have come from it. An author and expert in the field …


Social Issues

By Lourdes Medrano for Yes! Media. Broadcast version by Mark Richardson for Arizona News Connection, reporting for the YES! Media-Public News Service …

Social Issues

Hispanic Heritage Month began in mid-September and runs through Oct. 15, and a financial institution in Washington state is finding unique ways to …


Fans of solitude say the route density in Labyrinth Canyon can make it difficult to escape the noise of motorized vehicles. (Bureau of Land Management)

Environment

Conservation groups say more needs to be done to protect the natural and cultural resources of Utah's Labyrinth Canyon from off-road vehicles…

Social Issues

Despite being aimed at children in kindergarten through third grade, Florida teachers say what's often referred to as the "Don't Say Gay" law has …

U.S. Rep. Maxine Waters, D-Calif., says she plans to call a legislative hearing on the practices of credit reporting agencies. (Kalafoto/Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

Consumer groups are pressing for legislation to reform the way credit agencies handle errors on credit reports. The calls to amend the Fair Credit …

Environment

A relatively small number of so-called "super emitters" are responsible for 40% of the methane emissions in oil and gas hotspots such as California's …

Social Issues

As "Banned Books Week" comes to a close, Connecticut libraries have been celebrating with great fervor - despite numerous book bans and challenges…

 

Phone: 303.448.9105 Toll Free: 888.891.9416 Fax: 208.247.1830 Your trusted member- and audience-supported news source since 1996 Copyright 2021