2020 Appropriations Update

2020 Appropriations Update
September 11, 2019
Hunter Moorhead, Legislative Consultant

On June 25th, the full House voted 227-194 to approve the fiscal year 2020 Agriculture appropriations bill which included an increase in FSA salaries and expenses of 3.8 % or $ 41 million. The Senate has yet to act on any 2020 appropriation measures. Due to this lack of progress, the House is planning to move a continuing resolution next week that will run through November 21st or 22nd, or through December 6th. It appears November 21st or 22nd will the most likely choice, but we are told the decision has not been made yet. At this time, we do not expect that the government will face another shutdown. With an election year coming up, we do not feel that anyone in Congress will have the stomach to add this as an issue for voters to take sides on.

The Senate planned on moving 4 bills this week through subcommittee and full committee appropriations. Democrats met Monday night, and decided they wanted to push back on anticipated allocations in domestic discretionary as well as on some issues important to their base (border wall restrictions, abortion/title X, etc.). There is a divide between members who want to work with the majority and address their concerns through the process (in conference) and those who want to begin fighting on every appropriations bill immediately.

Senate Majority Leader McConnell reiterated on the Sunday news programs his intention is to only pass appropriations bills in the Senate acceptable to the President.

The plan had been to mark up four bills this week (DoD, E&W, LHHS, SFO), four next (Ag, FS, MilCon/VA, THUD), and four the following week (CJS, DHS, Interior, Leg Branch). Chairman Shelby and Senate Republican Leadership hoped to have the first four bills on the Senate floor next week (9/16-9/20). Absent some agreement between Chairman Shelby, Ranking Member Leahy and Senate Leadership, the FY 2020 appropriations schedule appears to be moving further down the calendar.

NASCOE fully understands that our members will have concerns, especially considering the events last year. We will continue to closely monitor the appropriations process and will keep membership apprised as new developments arise.

Photos of NASCOE Legislative Co-Chairs Clint Bain and Neil Burnette.

Convention Photos Now Available!

NASCOE implemented a new Convention Photo policy in 2018.  The photography from the 60th NASCOE Convention in Manhattan, Kansas is now available for download by attendees at no charge.  You may download a single image, or as many images as you would like.

A DVD containing all images from the convention may also be purchased for a small fee.  The DVD will contain all the same images from the gallery.  To order a DVD, please complete the order form and mail the $5.00 fee, which covers materials and shipping of the DVD.

The convention photography will be available for download until November 30, 2019.

Please contact NASCOE Publicity Chair, with any questions on this process.

Click to download:
Instructions to download 2019 NASCOE convention photos

DVD Order Form

Instructions-to-Download-2019-NASCOE-Convention-Photos

Program Submission Reponse: LIP Application Update

ISSUE:
The LIP application under Part E, F, and G show examples for documentation and insert numbers on the right hand side in bold, which is misleading because it looks those numbers represent the applicant’s numbers.

FACTS:
The Example inserts numbers in the application that are misleading and can be easily confused as the producer’s provided numbers.

SOLUTION:
Keep the example of the documentation but remove the numbers.

D.C. RESPONSE:
I completely agree with the suggestion 1 regarding LIP.  I will see what I can do to remove the numbers from the example.

Reminder! July 1 Application Deadline for NASCOE Leadership Program

Good Afternoon Everyone!

The application deadline is coming up for the NASCOE Leadership Development Program! JULY 1st-Please spread the word! The team has an exciting agenda planned to develop NASCOE’s future leaders. If you have ever considered getting more involved in your state or on the national level of NASCOE, this training is for you! It will provide you with all the tools you need and help you build those key relationships.

Please visit the NASCOE Leadership Development page for more details and instructions on how to apply. Direct your questions to Donny Green and Neil Burnette, Legislative Co-Chairs.

www.nascoe.org/Leadership-Development/

Application Deadline: July 1, 2019

Submit applications to your State President and Area Executive.

Lynsey Brooks and Ashlee Dalton
NASCOE Leadership Development Program Coordinators

Hurry July 1st is the Leadership Program Deadline

Membership Awards Reminder!

The NASCOE Membership Awards deadlines are coming up quickly! Please take a few moments today to recognize our members!

  • NASCOE Membership Awards are due by June 15th!
  • Memorial Submissions due by July 1st
  • NASCOE Membership Drive
    Dues must be postmarked by July 10th
  • Honorary Lifetime Membership Submissions are due as retirements occur throughout the year – no deadline, just a reminder to be submitting them!

All of these forms can be found on the NASCOE website at https://nascoe.org/membership/
 
The NASCOE Membership Awards are awarded to individuals and offices who have had 25 years or more of continuous membership. The individuals receive a very nice NASCOE pin with the years of service and the offices will receive a plaque at the National Convention.  
 
Please encourage your states to get these turned in!!  We want to recognize our members for their continued years of service and we can’t do it if the states do not submit their entries on time.
 
If you have any questions at all, please let me know.
 
Thank you for everything you do to make NASCOE great!!

Thank you,
Lynsey Brooks
NASCOE Membership Chair

Sticky Note with Handwritten words DO IT NOW!

Announcing the NASCOE Leadership Development Program

NASCOE Leadership Development Program

October 24-26, 2019
Dallas, Texas

NASCOE is excited to announce an opportunity for states to develop and enhance leadership to promote sustainability and success into the future. We are asking states to identify, engage, educate, and invest in the “NASCOE Leadership Development Program” which is designed to focus exclusively on leadership development and enhancement all the way from the state level to the national level!

We have so much undiscovered and available talent within NASCOE’s membership, and we want to do our best to recruit and train future aspiring leaders to continue carrying the torch. It is NASCOE’s goal to deliver this training in a “train-the-trainer” format so that the results and benefits will be perpetual by allowing states to take this model back home and continue “passing the torch” to future generations of up and coming leaders.

It is important to understand that this leadership training is not focused on a traditional audience compared to NASCOE’s audience for legislative conferences. Our intent is to focus on leadership development, with only a segment of legislative education.

Over the course of several months, NASCOE’s leadership has worked diligently to formulate a targeted plan of action, a suitable venue location, and a team of excellent presenters and coordinators.

Please visit the NASCOE Leadership Development page
for more details and instructions on how to apply.

www.nascoe.org/Leadership-Development/

Application Deadline: July 1, 2019

NASCOE Contacts: Donny Green and Neil Burnette, Legislative Co-Chairs

$19.1 Billion Disaster Bill Heads to President’s Desk

Hunter Moorhead, NASCOE Legislative Consultant
June 5, 2019

Below are the highlights of the disaster aid package previously passed by the Senate, passed by the House earlier this week, and is now awaiting the President’s signature:

Title I – Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, and Related Agencies

  • Agricultural Programs — $3.005 billion. Payments for crop and livestock losses due to hurricanes, typhoons, volcanic activities, tornadoes, floods, snowstorms, or wildfires during 2018 and 2019. 
     
  • Emergency Forest Restoration Program — $480 million.  Assistance to owners of private forests to restore disaster-damaged forests. 
     
  • Watershed and Flood Prevention Operations — $435 million. Financial and technical assistance to states and local sponsors to protect and restore watersheds.
     
  • Emergency Conservation Program — $558 million. Provides emergency funding and technical assistance to farmers and ranchers to rehabilitate farmland damaged by natural disasters.
     
  • Rural Community Facilities Program — $150 million.  Grants for facilities to provide health care, education, public safety, and public services to rural communities.
     
  • Nutrition Assistance Program for Puerto Rico — $600 million.  Additional funding to continue disaster nutrition benefits in Puerto Rico during its recovery from Hurricane Maria. 
     
  • Nutrition Assistance Program for the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI) — $25.2 million.  Additional funding for nutrition benefits in CNMI following typhoons in September and October.
     
  • Nutrition Assistance for America Samoa — $18 million for disaster nutrition assistance for American Samoa.
     
  • Study of Puerto Rico disaster nutrition assistance — $5 million for a study of the disaster nutrition assistance provided to the Commonwealth in 2017.

The Bill also includes:  

  • Provides trade mitigation assistance through the Market Facilitation Program to producers who derive at least 75 percent of their adjusted gross income from farming, ranching, or forestry related activities. 
  • Establishes crop insurance for hemp products.
  • Allows certain California communities affected by 2018 wildfires to be eligible for USDA Rural Development programs until 2020 Census data is available.
Photos of Donny Green and Neil Burnette, NASCOE Legislative Co-Chairs.

NASCOE Legislative Update: May 17, 2019

Hunter Moorhead, NASCOE Legislative Consultant
May 17, 2019

The current work period has proven active for agricultural policy proposals and related oversight hearings. The below provides an update of certain activities that impact FSA programs and employees.

Disaster Assistance — The House of Representatives, on May 10, passed legislation providing assistance for 2018 and 2019 hurricanes, wildfires floods and related disasters. The Senate is currently negotiating with the House to finalize what will become the final legislation. The Senate is expected to debate disaster assistance next week. The House details are summarized below for your review. 

House Passed Bill:

  • $3.005 billion for crop and livestock losses for 2018 and 2019
  • $480 million for Emergency Forest Restoration Program
  • $125 million for Watershed and Flood Prevention Operations
  • $500 million for Emergency Conservation Program
  • $600 million for Puerto Rico nutrition assistance
  • $25 million for Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands nutrition assistance
  • $5 million for American Samoa nutrition assistance
  • $5 million to study Puerto Rico nutrition assistance provided during 2017
  • Market Facilitation Program payment limitation language:
    • $900,000 and 75% from agriculture AGI payment limitation
    • $125,000 payment cap

Market Facilitation Program — The Secretary of Agriculture recently commented that USDA will provide another round of trade assistance. Our contacts believe the total assistance will range between $15 and 20 billion. It is likely that payment rates for specific commodities will be adjusted compared to 2018. Once available, we will provide additional details. 

Federal Appropriations — The House Agriculture Appropriations Subcommittee is scheduled to consider the fiscal year 2020 bill on Thursday, May 23. Our meetings with Members and staff have been productive but didn’t provide any details about funding levels. Currently, the Senate Agriculture Appropriations Subcommittee is scheduled to meet Tuesday, June 11.

H.R. 2478 Federal Retirement Fairness Act — Congressman Derek Kilmer (D-WA) has introduced legislation allowing former temporary employees, in a temporary position after December 31, 1988, to be credited for service under FERS. Unlike previous legislation, this proposal is more favorable by not requiring significant investment by individual employees while giving workers additional credit toward retirement. We will continue to monitor this legislation that could potentially impact many of our members.

2019 Candidacy Announcements

NASCOE Secretary, Marcinda Kester reminds members that NASCOE will post to the NASCOE Website announcements of persons desiring to run for any NASCOE office. In order to be published on the NASCOE website, announcements must be received by the Secretary no later than May 15 of the applicable year.

All announcements will be posted at the same time as soon after June 1 as practical. In no way is this to be construed that announcements must be publicized in this manner as candidates may, if they so desire, initiate their own mailing.

Please transmit any Candidacy Announcements to NASCOE Secretary, Marcinda Kester at:


Announcements must be received no later than May 15, 2019.

If no announcement for an Officer, Area Executive or Alternate Area Executive is received by May 15, a statement will be placed on the NASCOE Website that no candidates have announced at this time for the respective position(s).

Neither the NASCOE newsletter nor area bulletins are to be used for announcements of candidates. It is the responsibility of the candidate to ensure that the announcement has been correctly posted.