In honor of Agriculture Day at the Illinois State Fair, Governor Pat Quinn signed several bills to support the state's number one industry. The new laws will mean safer egg products, increased agricultural expertise on the state financing board, greater support for Illinois wheat and more accurate weighing and measuring systems. Today's actions are part of Governor Quinn's agenda to promote and support Illinois agriculture.
"Agriculture Day celebrates our number one industry and these new laws will help thousands of farmers across our state," Governor Quinn said. "By supporting Illinois agriculture, we can create jobs and grow our economy while continuing to feed Americans and people around the world."
House Bill 2783 was an initiative of the Illinois Department of Agriculture and was sponsored by State Representative Jim Sacia (R-Pecatonica) and State Senator Tim Bivins (R-Dixon). It allows the state to impose fines and other penalties on egg wholesalers who sell eggs to any person or business not properly licensed by the state. The legislation also allows the state to suspend the wholesale license of the offender if he or she fails to pay these penalties. This new authority to monitor the selling and wholesaling of eggs will protect public health and ensure that safe, quality eggs are being marketed in Illinois. The new law is effective immediately.
Governor Quinn also signed House Bill 2748, which requires at least two members of the Illinois Finance Authority (IFA) have expertise in agribusiness or production agriculture. IFA provides access to low-cost, non-conventional financing to help businesses, farms, local governments, and hospitals get needed growth capital. Having two members with agricultural expertise will make IFA more responsive to farming needs. The bill was sponsored by State Representative Josh Harms (R-Watseka) and State Senator Jason Barickman (R-Bloomington) and takes effect immediately.
Additionally, Governor Quinn signed House Bill 2709 and House Bill 2273. House Bill 2709, sponsored by State Representative Wayne Rosenthal (R-Morrisonville) and State Senator John M. Sullivan (D-Rushville), appoints a temporary wheat development committee that will foster new markets for wheat products and provide research for wheat farming and production.
House Bill 2273, sponsored by State Representative Patrick Verschoore (D-Milan) and Senator Sullivan, clarifies the state's Weights and Measures Act as it pertains to heavy truck scales operated by agricultural grain, feed, fertilizer, chemical, or construction aggregate producers. The law takes effect immediately and requires these scales to be certified by the state to help ensure the accuracy of these devices.
Also signed today was House Bill 1272, which designates the first Saturday of every month as "Eat Local, Buy Illinois Products Day" to promote local food initiatives, agribusiness and encourage local communities to reinvest in the local economy. Sponsored by State Representative Sam Yingling (D-Round Lake Beach) and State Senator David Koehler (D-Peoria), the bill takes effect immediately.