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Legislatively Speaking
Legislatively Speaking: Legislative Virtual Fly-In was a Success

By Alma Graham, CT State Grange Legislative Director

  May 3, 2021 --

On April 7, 2021 the National Grange held a virtual Legislative Fly-In. This event has traditionally been held at the National Grange office in Washington D.C. Those attending would participate in a day seminar featuring various speakers concerning Legislative topics. Then the second day the participants would travel to the “hill” and visit with their states National Representatives and Senators.

This year National Grange sponsored a virtual event inviting speakers covering a full schedule of topics. I understand that there were over 100 participants who registered for the event. I did see about 60 that were in attendance during the event. There were 4 from Connecticut that attended.

Speakers include representatives from the House and Senate Agricultural Committees as well as the White House Agricultural representative. They covered a variety of topics concerning rural and urban communities. Infrastructure was one of the top priorities. Beyond roads, bridges, railroads and waterway the need for Broadband was brought up as a major concern. This last year has brought this need to the forefront. There are many in rural areas who do not have adequate internet access for school and work needs. This year we also recognized shortages in broadband in urban settings. National Grange has been working on the need to expand broadband across the nation for many years.

Climate solutions was also presented as a top priority for the Biden administration. The Climate Solutions Act is seeking a carbon net-zero goal for the agricultural community. The intent is to include stakeholders in developing and implementing climate control initiatives to achieve this goal. They did not want to just set regulations. They are looking for voluntary participation from the agricultural community in developing these programs.

Health care was also presented as a priority. They plan on restoring the Affordable Cares Act and rolling back the restrictions on Medicaid. They admit it was not perfect and their goals is to make adjustments to clean up the program and fix some of the issues that were found. Prescription Drug costs was discussed as an area that they plan to address as well.

The need for Career and Technical Education was brought up during the session. The American Rescue Plan includes funding for developing this program. They recognized the growing need for trade laborers. Some of the consideration include reviving apprenticeships and developing similar programs to educate our needed laborers. Many of these trade programs do not need a full college education.



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