Agriculture Elections & Politics

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What The Legislature Doesn’t Know About Bees Could Fill A Blog

As a once and future beekeeper, I’m bemused by the California legislature’s inept efforts to legislate apiculture.  Section 29414 of the California Food & Agricultural Code, for example, defines “honeybees” as...more

It Ain’t Over Till It’s Over

The Minnesota Legislature wrapped up its business late Monday night, meeting a constitutional deadline to finish its work for 2015 by midnight. Adding to the pressure to end on time, as part of the ongoing renovation of the...more

Pollinator Health Task Force Issues National Strategy to Promote the Health of Honey Bees and Other Pollinators

On May 19 2015, President Obama’s interagency Pollinator Health Task Force -- co-chaired by the Secretary of Agriculture and the Administrator of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) -- issued its long awaited and...more

Minnesota Weekly Legislative Update: 05/15/2015

The focus at the Capitol this week for the Minnesota Legislature has been budget negotiations among Governor Dayton, Senate Majority Leader Bakk and Speaker Daudt. As of Friday morning, only two targets have been released —...more

U.S. House Passes Bill to Revise Corps and EPA Definition of “Waters of the United States”

On May 12, 2015, the U.S. House of Representatives passed H.R. 1732, which requires the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) to withdraw the proposed rule published in the Federal...more

North Carolina Legislative Report

The General Assembly convened for the 2015 legislative session on January 14. Lawmakers returned to Raleigh on January 28 to begin the session in earnest. The MVA Public Affairs Legislative Report on North Carolina will be...more

Under the Dome: Inside the Maine State House

Under the Dome: Inside the Maine State House provides a high-level overview of recent activity at the Maine State House. Budget Update - Late Thursday afternoon, Governor LePage released a change package to his...more

California Governor Orders 25% Cut in Water Use—What It Means for Businesses

California is experiencing a drought of epic proportions. To meet this challenge, on April 1, 2015, California Governor Jerry Brown issued Executive Order B-29-15 to usher in an aggressive statewide plan for reducing water...more

What the Drought Emergency Declaration Means for Your Business

By Executive Order B-29-15, signed on April 1, 2015, Governor Brown declared a state of drought emergency “to exist throughout the State of California ….” Among other things, the recitals state: WHEREAS a distinct...more

California Water Suppliers Facing Historic Mandatory Restrictions on Water Usage

Governor’s Goal: 25 Percent Statewide Water Savings - For the first time in California’s history, urban water suppliers will soon be required to comply with new mandatory restrictions aimed at achieving a statewide 25...more

Ethanol And Agricultural Groups Send USDA A Letter In Favor Of Ethanol Funding

On March 26, 2015, a group of ethanol and agricultural groups sent a letter (the industry letter) to the U.S. House of Representatives Appropriations Committee's Subcommittee on Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug...more

President Obama Signs Executive Order Reducing Federal GHG Emissions

On March 19, 2015, the White House published an Executive Order signed by President Obama that would further a preference for U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) BioPreferred products....more

Governor Brown Issues Executive Order Requiring Statewide Mandatory Water Restrictions

Responding to severely depleted water supplies and a record low snowpack at just 5% of historical averages, on April 1, 2015, Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. issued an Executive Order, effective immediately, ordering mandatory...more

Georgia Governor Expected to Sign Overhaul to Soil and Water Commission (HB 397)

On Friday, March 27, 2015 the Georgia legislature passed HB 397, overhauling the State Soil and Water Conservation Commission (“Commission“). HB 397 is intended to curb the Commission’s independence and streamline its...more

U.S. House Committee on Agriculture - Mandatory Biotechnology Labeling Laws

Purpose - The purpose of this hearing was to examine the costs and impacts of mandatory biotechnology labeling laws. Members Present - Chairman Conaway, Ranking Member Peterson, and Representatives Davis (IL),...more

Biofuel Legislation In Minnesota Criticized For Focus On Corn

The Bioeconomy Coalition of Minnesota is advocating strongly for two bills in the state that if passed would result in a two-year, $5 million production incentive for producers, and a capital loan equipment program. ...more

GOP Presidential Hopefuls Discuss RFS At 2015 Iowa Ag Summit

On March 7, 2015, the 2015 Iowa Ag Summit brought together several Republican Presidential hopefuls to discuss agricultural issues, including the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS), in the United States. ...more

And the Beat Goes On: NY State Assembly to Vote on GMO Labeling Law

Coming on the heels of the reintroduction of the Genetically Engineered Food Right-to-Know Act, on March 3, 2015, the New York State Assembly Committee on Consumer Affairs and Protection voted 9 to 6, with one abstention, to...more

Latest Developments from the Connecticut General Assembly: March 3 and 6 Public Hearings

As promised previously, we will be keeping you up to date with developments in the General Assembly. A. On Tuesday, March 3, 2015, the General Assembly’s Labor and Public Employees Committee will conduct a public...more

Deja Vu All Over Again: Federal GMO Labeling Legislation Re-Introduced

Last week, Sen. Barbara Boxer of California, Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut, and Rep. Peter DeFazio (D-Ore)–joined by chef-lebrity Tom Colicchio–announced the reintroduction of The , a federal bill that would mandate the...more

Frequently Asked Questions on the U.S. Government’s National Action Plan on Responsible Business Conduct

On February 12, the U.S. Department of State released a set of “Frequently Asked Questions” (“FAQs”) with regard to the U.S. Government’s efforts to develop a National Action Plan on Responsible Business Conduct. The plan is...more

2/15: Nothing in Life is Certain but Death and Tax Extenders: The Corporate Tax Provisions of H.R. 5771

When Congress met at the end of last year, the primary objective for the meeting was clear - to prevent taxes from slowing the recovery that the economy has enjoyed for the last several years. ...more

2015 Washington Outlook

In this issue: - Congressional Outlook - Senate Committees - House Committees - Excerpt from Congressional Outlook: Deadlines, Expirations, and Important Dates in 2015 - As the 114th...more

South Carolina Legislative Update

The House and Senate were busy this week with numerous subcommittee and committee meetings – ethics reform, surface water withdrawal, Pollution Control Act/DHEC Board review, and budget deliberations were a few of the items...more

Treasury Department Eases Cuba Sanctions

New Rules Open Opportunities for Exports, Financial Services, and Travel- On January 16, 2014, the U.S. Treasury Department issued new sanctions regulations easing the 54-year old Cuban embargo. Coming in the wake of...more

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