2019 State Legislative Priorities: The Bills Are Filed!

Farmers and eaters across the state have identified 5 key policy priorities for this legislative session. Check out what’s on the docket and then join us at our annual Local Food Lobby Day on April 10th. We’ll need all hands on deck to pass these bills and let policy makers know that they matter– and we can’t do it without you! Register for Local Food Lobby Day today!.

SUPPORT FAMILY FARMS AND HEALTHY FOOD FOR ALL
Support Appropriations the Healthy Local Food Incentives Fund
In 2018 we worked with partners in the Illinois Alliance to Prevent Obesity to protect the Healthy Local Food Incentives Fund, which created a statewide fund to match SNAP sales at farmers markets. SNAP match programs at farmers markets help the most vulnerable members of our society afford fresh fruits and vegetables while also keeping SNAP dollars local in the pockets of family farms instead of big box stores. Now to make this program a reality, we need the state to appropriate $500,000 to the Healthy Local Food Incentives Fund. If appropriated, Illinois can apply for a federal match, to create a $1,000,000 Fund that can be used by farmers markets across the state to match SNAP sales.

 

SUPPORT YOUR RIGHT TO GROW YOUR OWN FOOD
Support the Hoop House Bill SB1675/T. Cullerton
Amends the zoning division of the Illinois Municipal Code so that a municipality may not restrict residents from constructing a season extension or crop protection device from October 1st – April 13th. Season extension devices are commonly used by farmers and gardeners to protect and grow crops, especially during colder winter months. They are temporary in nature and consist of a skeletal structure covered by plastic or clear membranes. This bill protects food sovereignty and the right of Illinois people to grow their own food on their property. The bill was introduced after a resident of Elmhurst was asked by her city government to remove the season extension structure on her property.

 

SUPPORT MORE LOCAL FOOD PROCUREMENT BY STATE INSTITUTIONS
Support Enhancing Local Food Opportunities SB1450/HB2505
This bill amends the definition of “local” food for state procurement to provide more opportunities for Illinois growers and processors to supply local food to state agencies and institutions toward Illinois’ goal to procure 20% local food by 2020.

 

 

 

INSURE THAT YOUR TAX DOLLARS ARE PROTECTING ILLINOIS SOIL & WATER ON 75,000 ACRES OF PUBLICLY-OWNED LAND
Support Conservation on Public Land HB2819/Miller
Provides that the Department of Natural Resources may require the establishment of soil health practices on leases of land used for agricultural purposes. Illinois leases over 75,000 acres of land across the state. This bill insures that this land is being farmed in a way that improves water quality, supports the local food economy and local growers, generates more revenue for state conservation programs, and protects soil as one of Illinois’s most valuable resources.

 

SUPPORT CLEAN WATER & HEALTHY SOIL
Support the Nutrient Loss Reduction Strategy (NLRS) Resolution SR0052/Bennett
The Nutrient Loss Reduction Strategy is a strategy created by state agencies and organizations to reduce nutrient pollution into Illinois waterways that have contributed to the Gulf of Mexico “dead zone”. The resolution encourages Illinois lawmakers to take these strategies seriously and support programs and policies that will help Illinois meet its goal to reduce our phosphorus load by 25% and nitrogen load by 15% by 2025.