February 02, 2018
By Jeff Helms
The Senate approved a bill Tuesday, without dissent, which would allow state officials to better target conservation and irrigation funding toward projects with greater economic and environmental impact.
SB 192 by Sen. Gerald Dial, R-Lineville, would remove restrictions on how the Agricultural and Conservation Development Commission allocates funding. The bill, which is supported by the Alabama Association of Conservation Districts, also could help Alabama secure additional federal funding to improve the utilization of soil and water resources in the state.
Federation State Senate Legislative Programs Director Matthew Durdin said the legislation is critical in ensuring the efficient use of state and federal dollars targeted for on-farm irrigation and other conservation practices.
“Under current law, funds must be allocated to every district regardless of need or the number of qualified projects,” Durdin said. “It's important to invest resources where they have the greatest impact.”
The companion bill, HB 309 by Rep. Donnie Chesteen, R-Geneva, passed the House Agriculture and Forestry Committee Wednesday.