Environment Committee

JOINT FAVORABLE REPORT

Bill No.:

SB-69

Title:

AN ACT CONCERNING THE FARMLAND RESTORATION AND VACANT PUBLIC LANDS PROGRAMS OF THE DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE.

Vote Date:

2/28/2014

Vote Action:

Joint Favorable

PH Date:

2/19/2014

File No.:

33

SPONSORS OF BILL:

Environment Committee

Department of Agriculture

REASONS FOR BILL:

This bill modifies the 2011 Farmland Restoration program, which allows for some reimbursements to farmers who have reclaimed overgrown farmland. It clarifies reimbursement guidelines and increases maximum reimbursement for those who lease state and municipal lands to 90 percent (maximum $20,000). The bill also allows farmers to contribute in-kind services and broadens reimbursements for fencing.

RESPONSE FROM ADMINISTRATION/AGENCY:

Steven K. Reviczky, Commissioner, Department of Agriculture:

Commissioner Reviczky believes this will strengthen Gov. Dannel Malloy's 2011 farmland restoration initiative and increase the amount of farmland in production.

NATURE AND SOURCES OF SUPPORT:

Henry N. Talmage, Executive Director, Connecticut Farm Bureau Association:

The Farm Bureau supports these changes as “important enhancements” to the program.

Gordon Gibson, Legislative Liaison, Connecticut State Grange:

The Connecticut State Grange supports the bill.

NATURE AND SOURCES OF OPPOSITION:

None

Reported by: John Fitts

Date: 03/14/2014