Partisan disagreements often dominate the headlines, but last month saw two of my legislative priorities advance through both chambers of Congress with bipartisan support. My bill to modernize agriculture education was signed into law by President Trump, and my bill to add new protections for several South County rivers is awaiting his signature.
I introduced the National FFA Organization’s Federal Charter Amendments Act with Rep. Glenn ‘GT’ Thompson from Pennsylvania, my fellow co-chair of the Congressional Career and Technical Education (CTE) Caucus. Rep. Thompson and I are committed to advancing policies to ensure our education system equips students with the skills necessary for careers in the 21st Century economy. This latest bill makes key updates to the FFA (formerly Future Farmers of America) charter so schools in Rhode Island and across the nation can better prepare the next generation of farmers, scientists, small business owners, and agricultural leaders. On February 21, the President signed the bill into law.
Designating the Wood-Pawcatuck Watershed as “Wild and Scenic” has been a priority over the past several years for many residents of South County. In 2010, I introduced legislation to initiate a study to determine whether portions of the watershed qualified for the designation. Since then, local advocates and stakeholders have worked tirelessly to lay the groundwork to make this stunning natural resource Rhode Island’s first entrant to the Wild and Scenic National Rivers System. Now, the Wood-Pawcatuck Watershed Wild and Scenic River Act has passed the House and Senate as part of a broader, bipartisan public lands package. Once the designation is final, the state will have access to additional federal funding for conservation and stewardship efforts to ensure the Wood-Pawcatuck Watershed is preserved for future generations.
I am proud of both of these bills, and I look forward to continuing to promote legislation that benefits Rhode Island. For more information on my legislative priorities, and for updates on many other topics, please visit my website and follow me on Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and Instagram.