ICGA Statement on IL House Passage of H.B. 3437
Following the Illinois House of Representatives passage of H.B. 3437, the Illinois Hazardous Materials Workforce Training Act, Illinois Corn Growers Association President Randy DeSutter, a farmer from Woodhull, made the following statement:
“We are very concerned with the potential negative impact to rural Illinois that is gaining traction in Springfield. A provision in H.B. 3437 would require ethanol plants in Illinois to use union labor for future expansions and plant maintenance. Should this become law, the change will limit ethanol plant capacity growth in Illinois, which will hurt market opportunities for Illinois corn farmers.
“It could also hurt Illinois communities. One year ago, many Illinois ethanol plants were able to quickly convert their operations to making hand sanitizer to help our nation and our world fight the COVID-19 virus. If this regulation were in place, that conversion couldn’t have happened, and the capacity would have been built out in other states.
“Illinois already has fewer ethanol plants than surrounding states because of our poor business climate. This new provision would further erode opportunities to build markets for ag commodities because now Illinois will have different and more difficult regulations than Iowa, Missouri, Indiana, and Wisconsin. This provision was passed in the House with little understanding of rural Illinois and little concern for those hurting communities in our state.”
Illinois is the second largest corn producing state in the nation, with 32 percent of the 2.1 billion bushels of corn produced in Illinois sold to ethanol plants. The thirteen ethanol plants in Illinois also provide over 32,000 high paying direct and indirect jobs, in addition to benefits to local schools and communities through tax payments.