*The Senate unanimously approved a bill on Friday funding $1.15 billion in compensation to black farmers in a decades-old bias lawsuit that is one of the largest civil rights settlements in U.S. history.

The Pigford v. Glickman case was settled in 1999 and provided that qualified farmers could receive $50,000 each to settle claims they were denied farm loans or subjected to longer waits for loan approval because of racism.

But tens of thousands of farmers missed the filing deadline. The settlement in Pigford II, reached in February, allowed those farmers to pursue their claims. The lawsuit was named for North Carolina farmer Timothy Pigford.

“This is a huge, huge victory for myself and black farmers, many of whom have died waiting for justice,” said John Boyd of the National Black Farmers Association. “I have been working on this thing for 26 years. I’ve been hearing ‘no’ for so very long.”

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