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Farm bill has many benefits

Washington state needs to tell Congress that it’s time to pass a farm bill. Despite what most people think, the farm bill is actually a “nutrition bill” aimed at delivering food to the most needy. It’s also an important source of funding for agriculture research and higher education in Washington.

Potato farmers, like all other fruit and vegetable farmers in our state, don’t receive direct payment subsidies. Their needs are for strategic government investments in research, which will help them grow more food using fewer resources. This cutting-edge research and technology keeps Washington farmers competitive in a global economy, expands exports, and protects the No. 1 job provider in this state. Just our 300 potato farmers alone are responsible for over 23,000 jobs, and over $4.6 billion in economic activity.

Passing the Senate or House Agriculture Committee versions of the farm bill will also trim the federal deficit by $23 billion to $35 billion. Time is running out. Let’s feed the hungry, reduce the deficit, expand exports and protect our jobs. Congress must pass a farm bill during this lame duck session.

Chris Voigt

Moses Lake


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Editorial: Washington state lawmakers scramble to keep public in the dark

State lawmakers want to create a legislative loophole in Washington’s Public Records Act. While it’s nice to see Democrats and Republicans working together for once, it’s just too bad that their agreement is that the public is the enemy. As The Spokesman-Review’s Olympia reporter Jim Camden explained Feb. 22, lawmakers could vote on a bill today responding to a court order that the people of Washington are entitled to review legislative records.