Text: H.R.4153 — 103rd Congress (1993-1994)All Information (Except Text)

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Introduced in House (03/24/1994)

 
[Congressional Bills 103th Congress]
[From the U.S. Government Printing Office]
[H.R. 4153 Introduced in House (IH)]

103d CONGRESS
  2d Session
                                H. R. 4153

  To amend the Agricultural Credit Act of 1987 to expand the types of 
        agricultural issues covered by State mediation programs.


_______________________________________________________________________


                    IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

                             March 24, 1994

   Mr. Pomeroy (for himself, Mr. Baesler, Mr. Holden, Ms. Long, Mr. 
  Peterson of Minnesota, Mr. Sarpalius, Mr. Slattery, and Mr. Tejeda) 
 introduced the following bill; which was referred to the Committee on 
                              Agriculture

_______________________________________________________________________

                                 A BILL


 
  To amend the Agricultural Credit Act of 1987 to expand the types of 
        agricultural issues covered by State mediation programs.

    Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the 
United States of America in Congress assembled,

SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.

    This Act may be cited as the ``Agricultural Mediation Improvement 
Act of 1994''.

SEC. 2. EXPANSION OF AGRICULTURAL ISSUES COVERED BY STATE MEDIATION 
              PROGRAMS.

    (a) Expansion of Mediation Programs.--Section 501 of the 
Agricultural Credit Act of 1987 (7 U.S.C. 5101) is amended--
            (1) in subsection (a), by striking ``an agricultural loan 
        mediation program'' and inserting ``a mediation program''; and
            (2) in subsection (b), by striking ``agricultural loan''; 
        and
            (3) by striking subsection (c) and inserting the following 
        new subsection:
    ``(c) Requirements of State Mediation Programs.--
            ``(1) Agricultural issues covered.--To be certified as a 
        qualifying State, the mediation program of the State must 
        provide mediation services to producers, their creditors (if 
        applicable), other persons directly affected by actions of the 
        Department of Agriculture, and the Department of Agriculture, 
        involved in one or more of the following agricultural issues:
                    ``(A) Agricultural loans.
                    ``(B) Wetlands determinations under the 
                jurisdiction of the Department.
                    ``(C) Compliance with farm programs, including 
                conservation programs of the Department.
                    ``(D) Agricultural credit.
                    ``(E) Rural water loan programs.
                    ``(F) Grazing on National Forest System lands.
                    ``(G) Pesticides.
                    ``(H) Such other agricultural issues under the 
                jurisdiction of the Department as the Secretary 
                considers appropriate.
            ``(2) Certification conditions.--The Secretary shall 
        certify a State as a qualifying State with respect to the 
        agricultural issues proposed to be covered by the mediation 
        program of the State if the mediation program--
                    ``(A) provides for mediation services that, if 
                decisions are reached, result in mediated, mutually 
                agreeable decisions between the parties to the 
                mediation;
                    ``(B) is authorized or administered by an agency of 
                the State government or by the Governor of the State;
                    ``(C) provides for the training of mediators;
                    ``(D) provides that the mediation sessions shall be 
                confidential;
                    ``(E) ensures, in the case of agricultural loans, 
                that all lenders and borrowers of agricultural loans 
                receive adequate notification of the mediation program; 
                and
                    ``(F) ensures, in the case of other agricultural 
                issues covered by the mediation program, that persons 
                directly affected by actions of the Department of 
                Agriculture receive adequate notification of the 
                mediation program.
            ``(3) Time for certification.--The Secretary shall make a 
        determination whether to certify a State as a qualifying State 
        not later than 15 days after the Secretary receives a 
        description of the proposed mediation program of the State.''.
    (b) Participation of Department.--Section 503 of such Act (7 U.S.C. 
5103) is amended--
            (1) by striking ``agricultural loan'' each place it 
        appears;
            (2) in the matter preceding subparagraph (A) of subsection 
        (a)(1)--
                    (A) by inserting ``or agency'' after ``program''; 
                and
                    (B) by striking ``that makes, guarantees, or 
                insures agricultural loans'';
            (3) in subsection (a)(1)(A)--
                    (A) by inserting ``or agency'' after ``such 
                program''; and
                    (B) by inserting ``certified under section 501'' 
                after ``mediation program'';
            (4) in subsection (a)(1)(B)--
                    (A) by striking ``, effective beginning on the date 
                of the enactment of this Act,''; and
                    (B) by inserting ``certified under section 501'' 
                after ``mediation programs''; and
            (5) in subsection (a)(1)(C)--
                    (A) in clause (i), by striking ``described in'' and 
                inserting ``certified under''; and
                    (B) in clause (ii), by inserting ``if applicable,'' 
                before ``present''.
    (c) Regulations.--Section 504 of such Act (7 U.S.C. 5104) is 
amended--
            (1) by striking ``Within 150 days after the date of the 
        enactment of this Act, the '' and inserting ``The''; and
            (2) by adding at the end the following new sentence: ``The 
        regulations prescribed by the Secretary shall require 
        qualifying States to adequately train mediators to address all 
        of the agricultural issues covered by the mediation program of 
        the State.''.
    (d) Report.--Section 505 of such Act (7 U.S.C. 5105) is amended by 
striking ``1990'' and inserting ``1998''.
    (e) Authorization of Appropriations.--Section 506 of such Act (7 
U.S.C. 5106) is amended by striking ``1995'' and inserting ``2000''.
    (f) Conforming Amendments.--
            (1) References to agricultural loans.--Subtitle A of title 
        V of such Act is amended--
                    (A) in sections 502 and 505(1) (7 U.S.C. 5102, 
                5105(1)), by striking ``agricultural loan'' each place 
                it appears; and
                    (B) in section 505(3) (7 U.S.C. 5105(3)), by 
                striking ``an agricultural loan mediation'' and 
                inserting ``a mediation''.
            (2) Waiver of farm credit mediation rights by borrowers.--
        Section 4.14E of the Farm Credit Act of 1971 (12 U.S.C. 2202e) 
        is amended by striking ``agricultural loan''.
            (3) Waiver of fmha mediation rights by borrowers.--Section 
        358 of the Consolidated Farm and Rural Development Act (7 
        U.S.C. 2006) is amended by striking ``agricultural loan''.

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