Local Food Legislative Update
Illinois General Assembly:
May is the last month of the spring that the Illinois General Assembly is scheduled to be in session in Springfield. Most of the attention has been focused on the budget, pension reform, and some other big ticket items. The following are a couple of quick local food and farm updates and a link to an updated version of our 2012 bill tracker:
- Senate Bill 3456, sponsored by Senator Frerichs, which would create a new permit that, would make it easier for Illinois winemakers and Illinois craft beer makers to sell their local wine or local beer at farmers markets and other community events was passed by the Illinois Senate with a vote of 55-0. Representative Lou Lang is the chief sponsor in the House. Unfortunately, SB 3456 has been languishing in the House Rules committee since passing the Senate at the end of March.
- HB 5893, originally sponsored by Representative Kosel in the House would amend state economic development laws to encourage convention center boards to support farmers markets by opening their doors free of charge or at reduced rates for farmers markets on inclement weather days, was passed by the Illinois House of Representatives by a vote of 105-1. Senator Dave Koehler is the sponsor in the Senate. HB 5893 is moving along fairly quickly, the Senate Agriculture and Conservation Committee unanimously recommended HB 5893 to the full Senate. HB 5894 is currently on 3rd reading waiting to come up for a final vote, which barring some unforeseen roadblock it will pass and be sent to the Governor’s desk for his approval.
- To read ISA’s full bill tracker click here.