< Back to S. 2741 (106th Congress, 1999–2000)

Text of the A bill to amend the Agricultural Credit Act of 1987 to extend the authority of the Secretary of Agriculture to ...

...of Agriculture to provide grants for State mediation programs dealing with agricultural issues, and for other purposes.

This bill was introduced on June 15, 2000, in a previous session of Congress, but was not enacted. The text of the bill below is as of Jun 15, 2000 (Introduced).

Source: GPO

S 2741 IS

106th CONGRESS

2d Session

S. 2741

To amend the Agricultural Credit Act of 1987 to extend the authority of the Secretary of Agriculture to provide grants for State mediation programs dealing with agricultural issues, and for other purposes.

IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES

June 15, 2000

Mr. JOHNSON (for himself, Mr. CONRAD, Mr. HARKIN, Mr. DORGAN, Mr. ROBERTS, Mr. LEVIN, Mr. KERREY, Mr. GRASSLEY, and Mr. CRAIG) introduced the following bill; which was read twice and referred to the Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry


A BILL

To amend the Agricultural Credit Act of 1987 to extend the authority of the Secretary of Agriculture to provide grants for State mediation programs dealing with agricultural issues, and for other purposes.

    Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,

SECTION 1. STATE AGRICULTURAL MEDIATION PROGRAMS.

    (a) ELIGIBLE PERSON; MEDIATION SERVICES- Section 501 of the Agricultural Credit Act of 1987 (7 U.S.C. 5101) is amended--

      (1) in subsection (c), by striking paragraphs (1) and (2) and inserting the following:

      ‘(1) ISSUES COVERED-

        ‘(A) IN GENERAL- To be certified as a qualifying State, the mediation program of the State must provide mediation services to persons described in paragraph (2) that are involved in agricultural loans (regardless of whether the loans are made or guaranteed by the Secretary or made by a third party).

        ‘(B) OTHER ISSUES- The mediation program of a qualifying State may provide mediation services to persons described in paragraph (2) that are involved in 1 or more of the following issues under the jurisdiction of the Department of Agriculture:

          ‘(i) Wetlands determinations.

          ‘(ii) Compliance with farm programs, including conservation programs.

          ‘(iii) Agricultural credit.

          ‘(iv) Rural water loan programs.

          ‘(v) Grazing on National Forest System land.

          ‘(vi) Pesticides.

          ‘(vii) Such other issues as the Secretary considers appropriate.

      ‘(2) PERSONS ELIGIBLE FOR MEDIATION- The persons referred to in paragraph (1) include--

        ‘(A) agricultural producers;

        ‘(B) creditors of producers (as applicable); and

        ‘(C) persons directly affected by actions of the Department of Agriculture.’; and

      (2) by adding at the end the following:

    ‘(d) DEFINITION OF MEDIATION SERVICES- In this section, the term ‘mediation services’ may include all activities related to--

      ‘(1) the intake and scheduling of cases;

      ‘(2) the provision of background and selected information regarding the mediation process;

      ‘(3) financial advisory and counseling services (as appropriate); and

      ‘(4) the mediation session.’.

    (b) USE OF MEDIATION GRANTS- Section 502(c) of the Agricultural Credit Act of 1987 (7 U.S.C. 5102(c)) is amended--

      (1) by striking ‘Each’ and inserting the following:

      ‘(1) IN GENERAL- Each’; and

      (2) by adding at the end the following:

      ‘(2) OPERATION AND ADMINISTRATION EXPENSES- For purposes of paragraph (1), operation and administration expenses for which a grant may be used include--

        ‘(A) salaries;

        ‘(B) reasonable fees and costs of mediators;

        ‘(C) office rent and expenses, such as utilities and equipment rental;

        ‘(D) office supplies;

        ‘(E) administrative costs, such as workers’ compensation, liability insurance, the employer’s share of Social Security, and necessary travel;

        ‘(F) education and training;

        ‘(G) security systems necessary to ensure the confidentiality of mediation sessions and records of mediation sessions;

        ‘(H) costs associated with publicity and promotion of the mediation program;

        ‘(I) preparation of the parties for mediation; and

        ‘(J) financial advisory and counseling services for parties requesting mediation.’.

    (c) DUTIES OF THE SECRETARY OF AGRICULTURE- Section 503(a)(1) of the Agricultural Credit Act of 1987 (7 U.S.C. 5103(a)(1)) is amended--

      (1) in subparagraph (B), by striking ‘and’ after the semicolon at the end;

      (2) in subparagraph (C), by striking the period at the end and inserting ‘; and’; and

      (3) by adding at the end the following:

        ‘(D) shall implement procedures to ensure the confidentiality of any State mediation program certified under section 501 (including any related communications and records) in accordance with section 574 of title 5, United States Code.’.

    (d) AUTHORIZATION OF APPROPRIATIONS- Section 506 of the Agricultural Credit Act of 1987 (7 U.S.C. 5106) is amended by striking ‘for each of the fiscal years 1998 through 2000’ and inserting ‘for each fiscal year’.