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Tuesday Morning February 12, 2008

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February 12, 2008

 

Table of Contents

LAC Update: Banquet Speaker Announced; Congressional Hearing Scheduled
President Bush Releases FY 2009 Budget Request
Senate, House Agriculture Committees Announce Farm Bill Conferees
SNA, GMA Send Letter to Harkin, Chambliss on School Nutrition
FDA Issues Updates to the Food Code
Schools Begin to Serve Beef Again
Reminder: SNA PAC Statesmen Renewals Sent Out
CSPI Releases Study Looking at School Advertising
 

In Every Issue

Legislative Action Center
Legislative Toolkit
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State Policy Index
State and Federal Legislation

 

LAC Update: Banquet Speaker Announced; Congressional Hearing Scheduled

peterson

SNA is pleased to announce that House Agriculture Committee Chairman Colin Peterson (D-Minn.) will give the Carl D. Perkins Memorial Lecture on Monday evening at the Legislative Action Conference Banquet.  First elected to the House of Representative in 1990, Chairman Peterson represents the seventh district of Minnesota. He continues to play a leadership role in the 2007-2008 Farm Bill process and will speak on the changes to the federal nutrition programs included in the Bill.    

The Healthy Families and Communities Subcommittee of the House Committee on Education and Labor has tentatively scheduled a hearing for 3:00 PM on Tuesday, March 4.  The hearing will be on the school nutrition programs.  This is one of a series of recent hearings the committee has held on the school nutrition programs.  The Committee on Education and Labor is the House committee that has jurisdiction over the school nutrition programs.

Members of the committee include:

  • Representative Carolyn McCarthy (D-N.Y.), Chairwoman
  • Representative Yvette Clarke (D-N.Y.)
  • Representative Carol Shea-Porter (D-N.H.)
  • Representative Dennis Kucinich (D-Ohio)
  • Representative Raul Grijalva (D-Ariz.)
  • Representative John Sarbanes (D-Md.)

Representative Jason Altmire (D-Pa.)

  • Representative John Yarmuth (D-Ky.)
  • Representative Todd “Russell” Platts (R-Pa.), Ranking Member
  • Representative Howard P. “Buck” McKeon (R-Calif.)
  • Representative Kenny Marchant (R-Texas)
  • Delegate Luis G. Fortuño (R-P.R.)
  • Representative David Davis (R-Tenn.)
  • Representative Dean Heller (R-Nev.)

If your member of Congress is part of this committee and you plan to attend LAC, please thank them for holding this hearing and mention you hope to see them at the hearing. SNA members attending LAC have the option of attending the hearing when it does not conflict with individual visits with Members of Congress. Keep checking www.schoolnutrition.org for information additional information, including witnesses.

The Legislative Issue Paper is now available on the LAC 2008 website.  One of the major components of this year’s paper is a request for additional funding for the school nutrition programs.  To help answer questions about the costs associated with school meals, SNA has prepared a funding fact sheet.  This document is available on the LAC website.

President Bush Releases FY 2009 Budget Request

capitol

On Monday, February 4, 2008, the Bush Administration proposed a $3.1 trillion budget for Fiscal Year (FY) 2009.  The proposed budget provides additional funding for military spending and for an economic stimulus package – part of an overall spending increase of 6.1% over the FY2008 budget. Spending cuts would be made in a number of domestic programs, with decreases in funding for several health and human services, labor and transportation programs, among others. No cuts were proposed for the National School Lunch Program or School Breakfast Program however the President once again proposed eliminating food stamp coverage for more than 300,000 people in low-income working families with children, a proposal made in past budgets but rejected by Congress.

The budget requests $95 billion for USDA in FY 2009, which is approximately the same level as in FY 2008.  Approximately 76 percent of expenditures, $72 billion, will fund mandatory programs required by law, such as most nutrition assistance programs and commodity programs.  The FY 2009 budget increases funding for the Child Nutrition Programs to $15.3 billion, an increase of $600 million over FY 2008.  The budget request for the USDA also includes $2 million in funding for the fourth School Nutrition Dietary Assessment (SNDA) data collection and analysis. For more information, please see Related Links.

Senate, House Agriculture Committees Announce Farm Bill Conferees

Both the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry and the House Committee on Agriculture have announced their selections for the Farm Bill conference committee.  The committee is tasked with reconciling differences between the Senate and House versions of the Farm Bill. Senate Agriculture Committee Chairman Tom Harkin (D-Iowa) will serve as the conference committee chair.  The following senators will join him on the committee:

  • Senator Max Baucus (D-Mont.)
  • Senator Saxby Chambliss (R-Ga.)
  • Senator Thad Cochran (R-Miss.)
  • Senator Kent Conrad (D-N.D.)
  • Senator Charles Grassley (R-Iowa)
  • Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.)
  • Senator Blanche Lincoln (D-Ark.)
  • Senator Richard Lugar (R-Ind.)
  • Senator Pat Roberts (R-Kan.)
  • Senator Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.)

House of Representatives conferees are expected to be announced soon.

SNA, GMA Send Letter to Harkin, Chambliss on School Nutrition

SNA signed onto a letter from several food trade organizations including the Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA), thanking Senator Tom Harkin (D-Iowa) and Senator Saxby Chambliss (R-Ga.) for their leadership on improving the school nutrition environment through the Farm Bill.  The letter cites the importance of upcoming legislation, including the 2009 Child Nutrition Reauthorization, and asks that the senators continue to work with the school nutrition community to advance the school nutrition programs.

FDA Issues Updates to the Food Code

The Food and Drug Administration has issued an update to the 2005 Food Code.  The update was included in an October 2007 supplement and had several changes, such as adding cut tomatoes to the definition of “potentially hazardous foods.”  The FDA expects to issue a new version of the Food Code in 2009.

Schools Begin to Serve Beef Again

School districts across the country are serving beef again, following a food safety scare last week.  Many school districts stopped serving beef after the USDA placed a hold on all beef products after allegations of inhumane treatment at the Hallmark Meat Packing Company in Chino, Calif. were revealed in a video shot by the Humane Society of the United States. Last week, USDA inspectors visited the California plant and determined that the allegations were authentic and shut down the plant. The USDA placed a hold on the all beef products in order to determine where the meat had been sent.  Hallmark, a partner of the Westland Meat Company was one of the largest suppliers of beef to the National School Lunch Program. For additional information, please visit Related Links.

Reminder: SNA PAC Statesmen Renewals Sent Out

pac

Last month, the SNA Political Action Committee (SNA PAC) emailed out renewal notices for SNA members who participate in the Statesman Club: those who contribute at least $50 to SNA PAC each year. SNA PAC makes contributions to support members of Congress who have shown leadership in fighting for the health of children. See Related Links for more on SNA PAC and to download the Statesman form.

CSPI Releases Study Looking at School Advertising

The Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) recently released a study that looked at the prevalence of advertising in the Montgomery County, Md. Public School District.  The study claims that there was a prevalence of advertising for foods of poor nutritional quality in the schools, particularly in vending machines.  Since the study was conducted, many of the “concerns” cited in the report have been corrected. To see a complete copy of the report, please visit Related Links.

SNA Legislative Action Center

Legislative Toolkit

PR Toolkit

State Policy Index

State and Federal Legislation

 

State legislation can now be accessed on the Internet through Netscan. Use Username: schoolnutrition and Password: sna

Click State Legislation Instructions for steps to access state legislation through the service. Legislatures currently in session include:  Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin, Wyoming, and District of Columbia.

 


 
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