Farm bill passes Senate, heads for Obama's signature

  • Updated: February 4, 2014 - 9:19 PM

Al Franken At Dakota Hills Middle School in Eagan, Senator Al Franken met privately at the school with several Minnesota educators, child advocates, and school-safety officials to discuss ongoing efforts to improve school safety. Since coming to the Senate, Sen. Franken has pressed for measures to increase the number of school counselors, psychologists and social workers, and to prevent school bullying.. ] rtsong-taatarii@startribune.com ORG XMIT: MIN1301071556341114

– A new five-year farm bill that will govern agriculture and nutrition policies easily passed the Senate on Tuesday and now heads for the White House, where President Obama will sign it into law.

The bill was due at the end of 2012, but partisan bickering in Congress, including a government shutdown and automatic budget cuts, upset the legislative timeline by well over a year.

Minnesota Senators Amy Klobuchar and Al Franken voted for the bill.

“With one in five Minnesota jobs connected to agriculture, it’s critically important that we finally finished the job,” Franken said in a statement after the Senate vote.

The farm bill replaces direct subsidies to farms with expanded crop insurance and price protections to save $9 billion over the next decade.

It also cuts $8.6 billion in food stamp allocations over the next 10 years by changing one way in which benefits are calculated.

JIM SPENCER

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