U.S. Capitol Building

Weekly RoundUp: The Farm Bill

Congress is marking up the Farm Bill this week. The House version (seen here) makes cuts to the food assistance program. Over 1.6 million people in Illinois were enrolled in the Food Stamp program in 2010 – up from 816,000 in 2000, according to Census Bureau estimates.  

Almost the same cost, spent differently: Comparing farm bills in House, Senate committees – The Washington Post

“The Senate and House agriculture committees approved separate versions of the farm bill this week, and the full Senate is expected to take up the bill next week. A look at some similarities and differences between the two versions of the legislation:”


Agriculture Committee Markup Amendment Trackers –  National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition

“Follow along with Senate and House Agriculture Committee markup this week – the following amendments are key provisions that NSAC is tracking.

Weekly Roundup: The Sequester

By Staff/CU-CitizenAccess

An estimated $85 billion in automatic spending cuts to the federal budget are set to take place this week if no further action is taken by Congress. Here’s a round-up of some useful articles on the subject:

The Sequester: Absolutely everything you could possibly need to know, in one FAQ – from the Washington Post
“At the end of the month, the dreaded sequester is set to take effect. Hands up if you know what exactly that means — and be honest. Don’t worry, we’re here to set you straight. Follow along for answers to some of the most-asked questions about the impending cuts.”

Deadbeat Illinois: Joint project highlights burden of unpaid bills

By The News-Gazette/”Deadbeat Illinois: The Painful Price of Unpaid Bills” is a joint project by The Associated Press and its members across Illinois — including The News-Gazette. The goal is to highlight the state’s decision not to pay its bills on time and to examine the extent of the impact on the people, businesses and human-service groups across the state. These stories will appear in The News-Gazette in print and then online. As they are posted, we’ll link to them from here.  

Stimulus money may explain Champaign, Vermilion stability on poverty

By Julie Wurth/The News-Gazette — A new report from the U.S. Census shows Champaign and Vermilion counties holding their own economically in 2010, with overall poverty not worsening and median incomes actually rising. However, that may reflect an influx of federal stimulus money that has since dried up, according to one local official. The U.S. Census released the findings of its 2010 American Community Survey, which collects socioeconomic information about communities across the country each year, from poverty to education to demographics. The data are taken from surveys of about 3 million U.S. addresses, but given the small sample sizes in each community, margins of error vary greatly. The survey showed real median household income fell 2.2 percent nationally to $50,046 in 2010, from $51,190 in 2009, and dropped 3.6 percent in Illinois, from $54,992 to $52,972.