TC PALM: Environmentalists ask Sen. Nelson: Will you support sugar policy reform?

TC PALM: Written by Eve Samples. March 30, 2018.

Ninety members of Congress, from both major parties, have joined forces to fix what they see as overly generous support granted to sugar farmers via the federal Farm Bill.

In the Senate, co-sponsors of the Sugar Policy Modernization Act include Sens. John McCain, R-Arizona, and Mark Warner, D-Virginia. In the House, the backing comes from 47 Republicans and 23 Democrats.

It's a rare bipartisan, bi-coastal showing.

It has support from strange bedfellows: free-market capitalists and environmentalists are together on this one.

Yet not one representative or senator from Florida has gotten behind it.

A group of Everglades and estuary advocates is pushing to change that.

In a letter sent Wednesday to U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson, an alliance of 11 environmental organizations asked Florida's senior Democrat to support the Sugar Policy Modernization Act, which would make sugar import quotas more flexible and protect taxpayers from government-funded buyouts of surplus sugar. The bill was filed in November.

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