SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – State Rep. Sonya M. Harper, D-Chicago, advanced a package of bills designed to address food deserts, promote urban farming and lift up minority farmers who have been historically excluded.
“Agriculture is the largest industry in Illinois and the food and jobs we get from it are crucial to meeting our most fundamental needs,” Harper said. “I began this session by proposing a bold agenda aimed at localizing our state’s food shed and creating more opportunities for farmers. I am proud to be able to say that we’ve hit the ground running.”
Harper this session remains chairwoman of the House Agriculture & Conservation Committee, a position she has held since 2019. Under Harper’s leadership, the committee advanced a series of bills this week:
- House Bill 2520, which requires that the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency take environmental justice toward vulnerable communities into account during permitting;
- House Bill 2557, which creates a program designed to help keep small and mid-sized farms and ranches competitive;
- House Bill 2879, which aims to help food banks source healthy produce from Illinois farms;
- House Bill 3086, which raises some pesticide registration fees and uses the money to aid pesticide safety education;
- House Bill 3087, which refines the authority of the Illinois Dept. of Agriculture to prevent the transportation and sale of affected animals during a livestock-related epidemic, in response to last year’s avian flu outbreak;
- House Bill 3557, that aims to increase the proportion of food procured by state agencies that is sourced from socially and economically disadvantaged farmers;
- House Bill 3892, which aims to bolster local access to healthy produce and beautify disinvested communities by protecting the right of residents to operate urban farms and gardens.
- House Bill 3556 which provides land access, assistance and training for farmers that have been historically underserved by government programs.
Harper’s office is reachable at 773-925-6580 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Visit Rep Harper’s website
274-S Stratton Office Building
Springfield, IL 62706
4926 South Ashland
Chicago, IL 60609
(773) 925-6584 FAX