The United States Congress voted for an $867 billion farm bill on December 12, 2018, assuring the necessary funding for America’s Farmers and Ranchers and rejects stricter limits to the Snap (Food Stamp) program.
The new bill will provide billions of dollars in subsidies to American ranchers, farmers, legalizes hemp, and rejects stricter limits on food stamps.
Locally, the passage of the bill directly affects thousands of residents who receive SNAP assistance.
A push to add stiffer work requirements for recipients did not make its way into the final bill and no cuts to funding were added.
The final bill does include several new changes to the SNAP program, though none will restrict families’ food stamp benefits.
One measure will prevent individuals from receiving food stamp benefits in multiple states.
Although the Bill has not gone after the SNAP program the Trump administration has signaled its intention to cut food stamps without approval from Congress something that could be possible.
Currently, there are over 19,000 people in Maverick County that receive Food Stamps. Any cuts to the program would certainly negatively affect those who do depend on the assistance.
The Farm Bill also has a measure that would legalize hemp. The bill legalizes the production of hemp, a form of cannabis with lower THC levels than marijuana.