Only the Senate was in session last week, but we made great progress on some of our most important bills, which you can read more about below:
Natural Areas Stewardship Act passes the IL Senate!
SB1029, sponsored by Senator Jason Barickman, passed the Illinois Senate unanimously. This bill would allow IDNR to create an optional grant program to fund conservation stewardship for Illinois Nature Preserve Commission Property.
Industrial Hemp Act passes the IL Senate!
SB1294, sponsored by Senator Toi Hutchinson, passed the Illinois Senate unanimously. This bill allows Illinois to take advantage of a federal research program that would allow farmers registered with the Department of Ag to grow industrial hemp for products.
Milkweed Protection passes Senate Environment
HB685, which would prohibit municipalities from labeling milkweed as a noxious weed, passed the Senate Environment Committee unanimously.
Recycling Contamination Education bill passes Senate Environment
HB3014 educates Illinoisans to leave plastic bags, styrofoam, hazardous waste, syringes, landscape waste, and food scraps out of curbside recycling bins. Most material recovery facilities cannot handle these wastes, which jam machines and injure workers.
Oppose Sale of Contaminated Quarries
We are opposing HB2880, which would allow quarries that accept “clean” fill to sell a portion of their site while the remaining portion remains open. There are questions as to whether this would protect those operators responsible from groundwater or soil contamination from liability.
Local Food Round Table with Rep. Carol Ammons
On Tuesday, May 2, we were pleased to hold a round table with Rep. Carol Ammons and farmers, businesses, and local food policy staff to discuss ideas for promoting local food and sustainable agriculture in Illinois. Thanks to Prairie Rivers Network and Illinois Stewardship Alliance for hosting!
Conservation Breakfast with Author, Arthur Pearson
On Friday morning, IEC hosted a conservation conversation with Arthur Pearson, Author of Force of Nature: George Fell, Founder of the Natural Areas movement. Arthur discussed the founding of many of Illinois’ most important conservation policies.