H.R.2429 - Farms for the Future Act Amendments of 1995104th Congress (1995-1996)
|Sponsor:||Rep. Farr, Sam [D-CA-17] (Introduced 09/29/1995)|
|Committees:||House - Agriculture|
|Latest Action:||House - 10/12/1995 Executive Comment Requested from USDA. (All Actions)|
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Text: H.R.2429 — 104th Congress (1995-1996)All Information (Except Text)
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Introduced in House (09/29/1995)
[Congressional Bills 104th Congress] [From the U.S. Government Printing Office] [H.R. 2429 Introduced in House (IH)] 104th CONGRESS 1st Session H. R. 2429 To amend the Farms for the Future Act of 1990 to provide agricultural producers, in cooperation with States and local governments, financially competitive options for maintaining farmland in agricultural production. _______________________________________________________________________ IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES September 29, 1995 Mr. Farr (for himself, Mr. Gilchrest, Mr. Olver, Mr. Holden, Mrs. Morella, Mr. Gejdenson, Mr. Rose, Mr. Fazio of California, Mr. Condit, Mr. Dooley, Mr. Saxton, and Mr. LoBiondo) introduced the following bill; which was referred to the Committee on Agriculture _______________________________________________________________________ A BILL To amend the Farms for the Future Act of 1990 to provide agricultural producers, in cooperation with States and local governments, financially competitive options for maintaining farmland in agricultural production. 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 ``Farms for the Future Act Amendments of 1995''. SEC. 2. PURPOSE AND FINDINGS. (a) Purpose.--It is the purpose of this Act to provide agricultural producers in the United States, in cooperation with States and local governments, financially competitive options for maintaining prime, unique, and other strategic farmland in agricultural production. (b) Findings.--Congress finds the following: (1) Prime, unique, and other farmland that has strategic importance because of its exceptional agricultural, economic, or environmental contribution to society is being converted to nonagricultural uses because agricultural producers and other owners of such lands lack financially competitive options for retaining it in agricultural production. (2) States and local governments have been unable to provide sufficient incentives to landowners to maintain prime, unique, and other strategic farmland in agricultural production. (3) Federal assistance is needed to achieve the national interest in protecting prime, unique, and other strategic farmlands. SEC. 3. FEDERAL COST SHARING FOR ACQUISITION OF FARMLAND PROTECTION EASEMENTS. The Farms for the Future Act of 1990 (chapter 2 of subtitle E of title XIV of Public Law 101-624; 7 U.S.C. 4201 note) is amended by adding at the end the following new section: ``SEC. 1470C. FEDERAL COST SHARING FOR ACQUISITION OF FARMLAND PROTECTION EASEMENTS. ``(a) Definitions.--For purposes of this section: ``(1) Qualifying farmland.--The term `qualifying farmland' means land used for agricultural production that is determined by a eligible State or a local governmental agency of an eligible State to be-- ``(A) of particular importance to the State or locality because of its agricultural, economic, or environmental characteristics; and ``(B) at risk of conversion to uses incompatible with agricultural production. ``(2) Farmland protection easement.--The term `farmland protection easement' means an easement that, with respect to a parcel of land-- ``(A) prohibits or severely limits the uses of the land that are incompatible with continued agricultural production; and ``(B) runs with the land and binds all future landowners. ``(3) Eligible state.--The term `eligible State' means a State that has a program, approved by the Secretary, to acquire farmland protection easements. ``(b) Farmland Protection Easement Cost-Sharing.--In lieu of the authorities provided elsewhere in this chapter to assist eligible States to retain qualifying farmland in agricultural use, the Secretary may carry out a matching grant program under this section. ``(c) Farms for the Future Matching Grants.--The Secretary may make matching grants to an eligible State (and local governments approved by the State) to be used for the purpose of acquiring farmland protection easements to protect qualifying farmland from uses inconsistent with continued agricultural production or for the development or improvement of similar programs with this purpose. ``(d) Matching Requirements.--Matching grants under subsection (c) shall be made on a 50-50 matching basis, except that the Secretary may make matching grants for up to 90 percent of the cost of acquiring farmland protection easements by an eligible State (and local governments approved by the State) that is actively developing or carrying out programs to protect farmland from uses inconsistent with continued agricultural production. ``(e) Limitation on Total Amount of Grants.--An eligible State may not receive more than 10 percent of the total amount made available for matching grants under subsection (c) for a fiscal year. However, if fewer than 10 eligible States participate, the share provided to a State may be equal to its pro rata share of the total matching funds all States make available. ``(f) Conditions on Assistance.--In providing assistance under this section, the Secretary shall ensure that-- ``(1) funds provided under this section are used by an eligible State to protect qualifying farmland, with priority given to those lands of greatest importance to the State's agriculture industry; and ``(2) on average the purchase price of farmland protection easements acquired using such funds do not exceed fair market value. ``(g) Authorization of Appropriations.-- There is authorized to be appropriated such sums as may be necessary to carry out this section for each fiscal year.''. <all>