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Legislative Update: Agriculture Education Rule, Appropriations

Proposed Rule Affecting Agriculture Education Withdrawn

As we told you late last year, the Department of Labor proposed a rule relating to the child labor provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act, which would eliminate the student learner exemptions, particularly related to agriculture experiences. These changes would limit the opportunities for students to participate in hands-on learning experiences in agriculture programs.

The Department recently announced that they were withdrawing the proposed rule “in response to thousands of comments expressing concerns about the effect of the proposed rules on small family-owned farms.” We are pleased to see the change that can occur because of grassroots advocacy. The CTE and agriculture communities mobilized to voice their concerns with the proposed rule, their voices were heard!

House Passes Sequester Replacement Bill

The House passed H.R. 5652, the Sequester Replacement Reconciliation Act which, we told you about last week. This bill would replace cuts to defense spending with reductions to food stamps and other mandatory social programs. The bill passed 218-99, along party lines. Nearly all Republicans supported the bill (16 opposed it), and no Democrats supported it.

The Democratically-controlled Senate is so opposed to the bill that they have said they will not even vote on it. President Obama released a Statement of Administration Policy which indicated his plan to veto the bill if it reached his desk because it “would impose deep budget cuts that cost jobs and hurt middle class and vulnerable Americans – especially seniors, veterans, and children.” While the bill has very little chance of passing Congress, it could serve as a marker for Republicans during budget negotiations later this year.

Nancy Conneely, Public Policy Manager

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