Each year, WLA’s Steering Committee sets its policy priorities to guide our coalition’s advocacy efforts. We work together with our partners to advance legislation and policy initiatives that protect our working lands and promote agricultural viability.
Our priorities in 2015 focus on two primary areas:
- Increase pace of statewide farmland protection efforts and ensure maximum state and federal dollars are spent to preserve Connecticut’s farmland.
- Identify means to expand farmland access and affordability and educate policymakers about agricultural viability issues.
Within these two areas, WLA will be vocal about protecting the Community Investment Act, which will likely be a target due to statewide deficits for the upcoming 2 year budget. WLA will seek to maintain the $10 million in annual investments in our Farmland Preservation Program, and will be advocating strongly for creative strategies and new approaches that will help speed the pace of project closings. In addition, our coalition will seek to eliminate what is called the “70 % rule” – a cap that limits the total state and federal funds for conservation projects at 70% of the land’s total appraised value. Finally, WLA will continue efforts to engage lawmakers and our partners in efforts to address farmland access and affordability issues, particularly for ‘next generation’ farmers.
For more information about our coalition’s priorities, contact Lisa Bassani, WLA Project Director at email@example.com or 860-683-4230.