NCSL’s President Bruce Starr Comments on Farm Bill Agreement


NCSL NewsWashington, D.C.– Monday congressional leaders came to a bipartisan compromise on the long-awaited farm bill. The National Conference of State Legislatures has voiced strong support for the reauthorization of the farm bill, the nation's most important food and agricultural policy tool, and its importance to NCSL’s 7,383 state legislative members.

Bruce Starr, president of the National Conference of State Legislatures and a state senator in Oregon, was pleased to hear of the bipartisan farm bill agreement and had the following statement:

“We appreciate conference leaders coming together on this important piece of legislation to ensure certainty for the next five years in both the farm and nutrition communities," Starr said. "We also applaud leaders for not including the ‘King Amendment,’ thereby protecting states' sovereignty as provided for in the 10th Amendment. The ‘King Amendment’ would have preempted state agricultural policies that protect the safety of our nation’s farmland and the health and well being of our constituents. Agriculture is big business in my home state of Oregon, and I know my fellow legislative members around the country recognize how essential the farm bill is to their state. We look forward to full passage by Congress.”

In addition to the “King Amendment” opposition, NCSL also opposed the provisions limiting categorical eligibility in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP. This provision, which also was not included in the final agreement, would have resulted in an increase in state administrative costs and program complexity.

Learn more about NCSL's stance on the "King Amendment" and SNAP categorical eligibility.

NCSL is a bipartisan organization that serves the legislators and staffs of the states, commonwealths and territories. It provides research, technical assistance and opportunities for policymakers to exchange ideas on the most pressing state issues and is an effective and respected advocate for the interests of the states in the American federal system.