State and National Issues on Horizon
Motor Fuel Tax/State Capital Spending Plan: The Illinois General Assembly is expected to discuss increasing the state motor fuel tax rate as a part of a capital spending plan. The Illinois Farm Bureau is monitoring the actions and progress of these discussions.
The Clean Water Act: With the goal of a more precise definition of what is considered “waters of the United States,” the USEPA and Army Corps of Engineers recently unveiled a proposed rule that is intended to clarify and simplify which water bodies remain under federal jurisdiction. Under the 253-page proposed rule, the following will be considered federal waters:
- Traditional navigable waters
- Tributaries to those navigable waters
- Ditches used for navigation or affected by tides
- Certain lakes and ponds
- Wetlands adjacent to “waters of the US”
The agencies will accept public comments for 60 days that will begin once the proposal is published in the Federal Register.
Industrial Hemp: The Illinois Department of Agriculture has published proposed rules for licensing and growing industrial hemp following a bill signed by then Governor. Rauner in August. The rules have been published in the Illinois Register and comments will be accepted until February 11. A copy of the proposed rules can be found on the Cook County Farm Bureau website www.cookcfb.org.
USDA Bioengineered retail product disclosure rule: The USDA has written guidelines on how foods that may contain bioengineered food products or ingredients will be required to be labeled in order to increase transparency of our nation’s food system. The rule defines bioengineered foods, disclosure options, and exemptions. The rule goes into effect January 1, 2020 for most companies.