U.S. House votes today on spending bill -- aid for dairy farmers, after-school meals
The U.S. House will vote today on an agriculture spending bill that includes $350 million in new aid for struggling dairy farmers.
Wisconsin Senate Democrat Herb Kohl and House Appropriations Chairman David Obey of Wausau helped convince a conference panel to budget the emergency aid for farmers hurt by low prices.
Farmers would get $290 million in direct subsidies.
Another $60 million would be spent on cheese and other dairy products for government food programs.
Also, the bill includes funding for after-school meals for needy youngsters. Wisconsin is one of a just few states to get that aid.
Kohl added the provision, as the state is seeing a dramatic increase in kids eligible for free and reduced price school lunches.
In Milwaukee, 69 percent of students are eligible for school lunch subsidies and the recession has caused a 7 percent increase in applications this year. Milwaukee's Hunger Task Force says the proposed after-school meal aid would help about 1,600 youngsters if it's approved.