WASHINGTON (MNS) — The Senate passed its Farm Bill Wednesday by a vote of 58 to 40 that included language allowing Imperial Valley farmers to process sugar cane into sugar, a legislative victory that a spokesman for Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., said will help fuel the economy of Southern California.
‘‘It will help create more jobs in California because more businesses in the Central Valley and in southern parts of the state will be able to grow and refine sugar cane whereas before they weren't allowed to,'' said Jim Hock, Feinstein's spokesman.
Both Feinstein and Sen. Barbara Boxer, D-Calif., voted in favor of the bill, as did senators from other major sugar cane-producing states such as Louisiana, Florida and Hawaii. Both senators from Texas, which has a sugar cane industry, voted against the bill.
As the bill originally was written, only sugar cane producers in states that already grew cane for sugar could enter the market. The new language provided that other states, including California, may grow and process cane for sugar, Hock said.