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The acronym "PILT" is more than just an odd abbreviation. PILT stands for Payment In Lieu of Taxes, a program created by Congress in 1976. In the nearly four decades since PILT's creation, counties all across America – and especially in Arizona and the West – have come to rely on these funds, especially after the economic turndown of last decade. Read more»

It’s been quite a year for U.S. foreign policy, with plenty of undertakings both naughty and nice. Read more»

Arizona Farm Bureau President Kevin Rogers said farmers iwll not be hurt immediately by the lack of a federal farm bill, but that Congress will have to act soon.

The budget was not the only significant legislation that died Monday between a deadlocked House and Senate – the farm bill also expired at midnight, leaving farm programs, crop supports and food stamps up in the air. Read more»

Rep. Paul Gosar, R-Prescott, was the only Arizona lawmaker to vote for the stripped-down farm bill, which he said will bring the agriculture policy reform that farmers in his largely rural district need.

The U.S. House barely passed a farm bill Thursday afternoon, with only one member of the Arizona delegation supporting the measure after leaders stripped the food stamp program out of it. The 216-208 vote largely followed party lines, with every Democrat voting against the bill and 12 Republicans breaking ranks to vote against it. Read more»

Arizona Farm Bureau President Kevin Rogers, here in a file photo, said there was 'a lot of give and take' on the farm bill, but its passage by the Senate gives farmers some assurances going forward.

Arizona farmers are cautiously optimistic at the Senate’s passage this week of a five-year farm bill, even though it cuts $24 billion from current spending levels. Read more»

A revamped Farm Bill, scheduled for a vote this week, is set to cut $35 billion from the food stamp program. "One in seven Americans receive what we used to call food stamps. The figure is higher in Arizona, where one in three children – more than 466,000 – are considered ‘food insecure," said U.S. Rep. Raúl Grijalva. Read more»