SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – Following successful veto overrides in both houses of the Illinois General Assembly, state Rep. Sonya Harper’s, D-Chicago, legislation that will create local urban agricultural zones across communities in Illinois to help residents grow their own produce is now law.
“This has been a fight for years, to prioritize the needs of families in ill-nourished communities and give them the tools they need to care for themselves,” said Harper. “Both rural and urban communities throughout Illinois suffer from food desert designations that have negative impacts on people’s health and well-being, as they have to travel long distances just to purchase healthy foods. This law will begin to alleviate those ills.”
Harper’s House Bill 3418 will allow local governments and residents across Illinois to work together to create urban agricultural zones to combat food desert areas. Food deserts are defined as areas that lack access to healthy foods or where it is difficult to purchase them. These zones would empower residents by granting them the resources they need to grow their own healthy foods around where they live, like reduced water rates, property tax abatements and lower utility fees. Both chambers of the Illinois General Assembly overrode Gov. Rauner’s amendatory veto of the measure on a bipartisan basis, and it is now state law.
“No one should be suffering because of where they live in our state, and I’m glad my fellow legislators worked with me to empower people in need,” said Harper. “Now we can get down to work and execute this new law and finally put our words into action.”
Harper represents the 6th District, which includes all or portions of Armour Square, Bridgeport, Chicago Lawn, Englewood, Gage Park, Back of the Yards, Canaryville, New City, West Englewood, Marquette Park, South Loop and River North.
Visit Rep Harper’s website
276-S Stratton Office Building
Springfield, IL 62706
(217) 558-6370 FAX
4926 South Ashland
Chicago, IL 60609
(773) 925-6584 FAX