WKU Public Radio News Staff
Controversy over Proposed Regulations
Thu March 22, 2012
McConnell Co-Sponsors Bill on Youth Working Around the Farm
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky has joined with several of his colleagues to introduce legislation to block the Department of Labor from enacting proposed regulations regarding youngsters working on farms. The issue has drawn widespread concern among farm families and farm organizations across the country.
The US Department of Labor has proposed age and size restrictions on young people who work around farm operations. Senator Mc Connell says,” many farmers believe its insulting to suggest that they would put their kids at risk, and that the government is needed to step in and regulate their life.”
Some farm groups say proposals suggested last year by Labor Secretary Hilda Solis regarding livestock could severely limit participation in 4-H and Future Farmer of America activities. Solis described youngsters working around the farm as “some of the most vulnerable workers in America. “
The legislation supported by Senator McConnell is called the “Preserving America’s Family Farm Act.” A group of 36 Senators, including Democrat Jon Tester of Montana, and Republican Dan Coats of Indiana are co-sponsoring the measure.