Farm Bill

Small internet service providers in Illinois are optimistic after the farm bill – which President Trump recently signed – included more money for expanding high-speed internet access in sparsely populated areas.

The law earmarks $350 million annually for loans and grants for broadband projects. That’s on top of $600 million set aside earlier this year for the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Re-Connect program.

The expiration of the Farm Bill is putting the brakes on conservation programs important for many Illinois farmers and ranchers.

While the legislation largely stalled over the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, the people who grow food and livestock also were impacted.

Partisan politics may meet its match in the 2018 farm bill.

The massive legislation, versions of which will be introduced this spring in the U.S. House and Senate, is shaping up to be less about political affiliations and more about finding common ground.

Congress has less than two weeks to act before the current farm bill expires.

That could leave dozens of federal program in limbo, affecting everything from crop insurance to food aid for the poor.

Spending on food aid is one of the reasons that House Republican leaders have refused to call the measure for a vote.

WSIU Radio's Jennifer Fuller has the morning's news and weather.