The American Jobs Creation Act of 2004 Contains Buyout for Kentucky Farmers That Governor Fletcher Strongly Pushed for While in Congress
Frankfort, KY: Today, Governor Ernie Fletcher stated his appreciation to his former colleagues in the U.S. Congress for moving forward on H.R. 4520, which includes a $10.1 billion buyout of the tobacco industry. The bill passed through the U.S. House of Representatives last week on a 280-141 vote, and today in the U.S. Senate on a vote of 69-17. This legislation, pending signature by President Bush, will allow Kentucky’s tobacco farmers to transition from the antiquated federal tobacco program.
“I would like to congratulate and show my appreciation to my former colleagues in Congress who have persisted with this legislative effort that Kentucky farmers need,” stated Governor Ernie Fletcher.
During his time in Congress, Governor Fletcher pursued a tobacco buyout initiative to help Kentucky’s family farms throughout the Commonwealth. By introducing H.R. 5035 in the 107th Congress and H.R. 245 and HR 3160 in the 108th, Congressman Fletcher reinitiated the buyout discussion, developing and broadening consensus among tobacco-state Representatives to provide unity in their approach for legislation.
Approximately 100,000 Kentucky tobacco quota holders would receive a share of the buyout, based on their "allotments," which dictate how much they can grow each year. Under this legislation, quota owners will receive $7 per pound and growers will receive $3 per pound. People who both own quota and grow tobacco would get $10 a pound. The funds will be paid out in equal payments over the next 10 years and are based on 2002 quotas.
Governor Fletcher continued, “I believe it is critical that we give our family farms the support they deserve so that they can make the decision to stay in tobacco farming or move on to other opportunities. As Governor, I am committed to working with farmers, through the Office of Agricultural Policy and Extension Service, to make this transition as smooth as possible.”
# # #