New York Senator Charles Schumer called on the House of Representatives to pass a provision of the farm bill that he says would allow more grants and loans for more than 60 rural upstate New York communities.
The US Department of Agriculture's rural development programs provide funding infrastructure projects like water and sewer systems in rural areas. Many upstate New York communities have received this kind of funding in the past. But as Schumer told reporters today, the problem is -- what is the definition of rural?
"It excluded large parts of states like ours that have large rural populations but they're more densely populated states and more densely populated areas," said Schumer.
Schumer says the law would require the USDA to have one definition of "rural" for all its programs. A community that has less than 50,000 people and is not adjacent to a town with more than 50,000 people would be considered rural.
The Senate has passed the provision but it is not currently included in the farm bill the House of Representatives is considering.