By Cathy Schuchart SNA Staff Vice President of Government Affairs and Media Relations 2017-02-27 14:02:29
Waiting, Watching But Still Taking Action WHAT’S GOING ON? THAT COULD BE THE REFRAIN FOR EVERYTHING HAPPENING IN WASHINGTON THESE DAYS, but SNA members are most interested in how the new Administration and the new Congress plan to address the federal child nutrition programs. With many rumors circulating, there’s a lot of anxiety about what’s next—and what SNA will do. First, let me assure you that SNA isn’t standing by just waiting to see what happens before taking action. Your Association’s legislative team is always moving forward, working on numerous fronts. For example, on Capitol Hill, we’ve been meeting with new and veteran members in the 115th Congress. We’ve learned that Child Nutrition Reauthorization will not be on the agenda for 2017, as the House and Senate Committees with oversight of our programs have determined that a new Farm Bill is the more critical agriculture-based priority for this year. With that in mind, SNA is exploring options for having some of our top legislative concerns addressed through Farm Bill legislation. And what about those top legislative concerns? As this issue of the magazine goes to press, we’re putting the final touches on the 2017 Legislative Position Paper, which was written with your input. We had tremendous response to our annual survey of members about legislative priorities. We received feedback from 2,401 members, more than double from last year! Stay tuned to SchoolNutrition.org for the publication of this year’s Paper, along with talking points that you can use when meeting with your representatives in Congress at our Legislative Action Conference (LAC). I can preview that the top concern identified by SNA members is that last year’s House proposal to pilot block grants in three states will get more traction with the current Congress and Administration. SNA remains firmly opposed to block grants, and we have been meeting with other child nutrition allies to establish a coalition to address any such action on this issue. Although a new Secretary of Agriculture has yet to be confirmed by the Senate at press time, we expect the President’s choice, former Georgia Governor Sonny Perdue, will be in office by the time we all gather in Washington, D.C., in early April for LAC. We have extended an invitation for him to attend. There are so many other activities keeping SNA’s legislative team busy, but not enough space to detail them all here. I invite you to subscribe to Tuesday Morning, our weekly legislative e-newsletter for timely updates. Visit www.schoolnutrition.org/signup/.
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