In the midst of the federal government shutdown, Oregon lawmakers voted to give farmers $3 billion in emergency relief from the federal farm bill.
But it was a mistake, say lawmakers.
They say the money will help farmers get their businesses back on track.
House Speaker Mark Hassett, D-Portland, says the state will see a $2 billion increase in sales and $1.5 million in payroll tax revenues.
He says the funds will help Oregon farmers with their growing operations, and it will help businesses as well.
But Rep. Brad Jones, R-Logan, says a large portion of the money is earmarked for programs that help farmers like his family.
He says he has a farm in the eastern part of the state and the money he has collected for me is all for me.
Jones says he wants to see his family grow.
But he’s not happy with the federal spending.
He also wants to know what’s in the bill.
The House Appropriations Committee released its final version of the farm bill Wednesday.
It passed without changes to some provisions.
It has now to go to the Senate, which is expected to approve it.
The committee voted to spend $3 million on a program that helps farmers with marketing and advertising.
The money will go to help farm owners and processors buy new equipment, like trucks, and sell it.
Hassett says he’s disappointed that some of the cuts will be offset by increases in food stamp benefits.
He wants the bill to help farmers out.
The state’s budget also got a $600 million boost in state revenue over the next two years, mostly from a new crop insurance program.
Hussett says it’s time for the Legislature to get back to basics.
He said he’ll be voting for the bill if it keeps Oregon’s agricultural sector afloat.
Hatch says he hopes the budget gets passed.
He adds that he wants the federal payments to continue.