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CCFB News» April 2021

Farm Bureau Working on Legislation to Benefit Farmers and Families

04/07/2021 @ 10:05 am

Farm Bureau is engaging with legislators on the following issues:

 

Agricultural tourism limited liability: Senate Bill 458 (Senator Wilcox) limits the liability of agritourism operations. Under the bill, an agritourism operator would not be liable for injury or death of a participant resulting from the inherent risks of agritourism activities if the agritourism operator posts the required warning notice. Nothing prevents or limits the liability of an agritourism operator if the agritourism operator: (1) commits an act or omission that constitutes willful or wanton disregard for the safety of the participant; or (2) has actual knowledge or reasonably should know of an unusual dangerous condition on the land, facilities, or equipment used in the activity or the dangerous propensity of a particular animal used in such an activity, and does not make the danger known to the participant. This is a legislative priority for the Illinois Farm Bureau and Illinois Specialty Growers Association.

 

Agricultural experiences allowance: House Bill 3560 (Representative Halpin) creates the Agricultural Experiences Act which prohibits a county from requiring a special permit or any variance for agricultural experiences on a farm which an activity is open to the public with the intended purpose of promoting or educating the public about agriculture.

 

Income tax credit for small farms: Senate Bill 279 (Senator Bryant) creates an income tax credit to taxpayers who own and operate a small farm and make a qualifying food commodity donation to a food bank or emergency feeding organization. It provides that the credit shall be equal to the lesser of $5,000 or 15% of the value of the food commodity donated. This is a policy that is already in place for federal income tax but not currently for state income tax.

 

Access to Nutrition Program: Senate 629 (Senator Fowler) provides that the Department of Agriculture shall conduct an access to nutritious food program to establish and operate projects and strategies that focus on the distribution of fresh and nutritious food to food deserts and education in food preparation and nutrition. It provides that the Department shall promote the sharing of information concerning best practices and programs, including specified projects, that have proven to be effective in these areas. This is a collaborative measure to share best practices to bring nutritious food to areas in need.

 

Members interested in providing feedback and comments are encouraged to contact Bona Heinsohn at 708-354-3276 or via email at [email protected].

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