A package of legislation was signed this week to benefit Illinois farmers and ag businesses. With more than 72,000 farmers and 2,400 food manufacturers in the state, Illinois leads the nation in food processing, and ag commodities businesses produce $19 billion annually—and billions more is stimulated by ag-related industry.
“Agriculture is the backbone of our state’s economy. If we can help farms and agribusinesses to succeed, then Illinois will succeed. I grew up on a family farm, and know the hard work these men and women do every day to feed the world, and the unique challenges they face. It was an honor to sponsor this new law that consolidates and modernizes rules for programs that affect farmers and agribusinesses each day.” – Senator Chuck Weaver (Peoria)
Senate Bill 3072 was signed to streamline and reduce some of the bureaucracy associated with the State Fair Advisory Board, which deals with operational matters impacting the Springfield and DuQuoin State Fairs.
House Bill 4999 reduces the number of meetings and other administrative requirements for the Advisory Board of Livestock Commissioners, which approves the rules and regulations of the department on prevention, elimination and control of diseases in our livestock. The changes were sought to achieve cost and staff time savings for administrative support.
Seeking to ensure the humane treatment of dogs and cats, House Bill 5029 makes certain breeders live up to legal standards for health. The new law clears up any confusion for licenses and consumers relating to the definition of a dog and cat breeder, establishing that breeders are anyone who intentionally breeds cats and dogs to sell, offer to sell, exchange or offer for adoption.
The Governor also signed House Bill 5459, amending the Horse Racing Act to allow more foals to qualify for Illinois races. Proponents say this will help the racing and horse breeding industries in the state.
Additionally, the signing of Senate Bill 2752 will change the definitions of “adulterated” meats and poultry to further protect consumers against food-borne illnesses. The new law ensures Illinois law conforms with federal guidelines, and that the state is adhering to best practices when it comes to food safety.
Also signed into law was Senate Bill 2875, giving authority to the Department of Agriculture to develop and implement a value-added certification process and programs, which will guarantee Illinois certified products have traits and qualities that warrant higher prices. The legislation also repeals some programs within the Department of Agriculture that have not functioned in years but still exist on paper.