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.''.
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