SPRINGFIELD, Ill. — Gov. Pat Quinn topped off the Salute to
Agriculture Day celebration at the 2013 Illinois State Fair by signing a number
of bills concerning agriculture into law.
“We’re committed to agriculture in our state. Our state is
the No. 1 agricultural state in the union as far as I’m concerned, and I think
most everybody in Illinois agrees,” said Quinn as he sat at a desk at the
Farmers Little Helper exhibit at the Illinois State Fair.
“We’re very, very beholden to the men and women of
agriculture who work so hard and who are really the key industry in our state of
Quinn also noted that agriculture in the state has the power
to bring lawmakers on both sides of the political aisle together.
“We have a number of bills to sign today, and they were
passed because of legislators of both parties. There’s no such thing as Illinois
Democratic agriculture or Illinois Republican agriculture. We’re all in this
together,” said Quinn, who was surrounded by representatives of Illinois’ major
agricultural and commodity groups.
Bob Flider, Illinois secretary of agriculture, acknowledged
that even as the governor signed the laws and made them official, a balance must
be achieved to keep the state friendly and open for business.
“These bills are bills that the industry has worked with us
in helping craft and create, and what we’re trying to do is always try to move
the ball forward in terms of public health and safety,” he said. “But, at the
same time, we want rules that make sense and rules that are workable and
The bills signed by Quinn at Ag Day include:
* House Bill 1272, sponsored by state Rep. Sam Yingling, D-Round Lake Beach,
and state Sen. David Koehler, D-Peoria, which designates each first Saturday of
every month as “Eat Local, Buy Illinois Products Day.” The bill promotes local
food initiatives and agribusinesses.
Flider also mentioned the “Buy Illinois Challenge” initiated
by the Bureau of Marketing at the Illinois Department of Agriculture.
“If every family in Illinois would pledge to spend $10
buying Illinois products, it could be Illinois wine, it could be barbecue sauce,
could be any item, numerous items that are produced here in Illinois, $10 a
week, that would ripple through the economy to the tune of $2.4 billion and
that’s keeping our money local. That’s jobs and helping our local economy and
helping where we need it most,” he said.
* House Bill 2783, sponsored by state Rep. Jim Sacia, R-Pecatonica, and
state Sen. Tim Bivins, R-Dixon, allows the state to impose fines on egg
wholesalers who sell eggs to any person or business not properly licensed by the
state. The bill also allows the state to suspend the wholesale license of the
offender if the penalties and fines are not paid.
* House Bill 2748, sponsored by state Rep. Josh Harms, R-Watseka, and state
Sen. Jason Barickman, R-Bloomington, requires at least two members of the
Illinois Finance Authority to have expertise in agribusiness or production
agriculture. The IFA provides access to low-cost, non-conventional financing to
help businesses, farms, local governments and hospitals acquire capital for
* House Bill 2709, sponsored by state Rep. Wayne Rosenthal, R-Morrisonville,
and state Sen. John Sullivan, D-Rushville, appoints a temporary wheat
development committee that will seek new markets for wheat products and provide
research for wheat farming and production.
* House Bill 2273, sponsored by state Rep. Patrick Verschoore, D-Milan, and
state Sen. John Sullivan, D-Rushville, clarifies the state’s Weights and
Measures Act as it concerns heavy-truck scales operated by agricultural grain,
feed, fertilizer, chemical or construction aggregate producers. The law requires
these scales to be certified by the state to help ensure the accuracy of the
In addition, the governor signed and presented proclamations
to University of Illinois Extension, marking the organization’s 100 years of
service to the state and to Illinois agriculture; to Prairie Farms Dairy, based
in Carlinville, marking the dairy’s 75 years in business; and to Brandt
Consolidated of Springfield, marking the company’s 60th year in business.