LEGISLATIVE UPDATE FOLLOWING END OF IL SESSION
THANKS TO YOUR CALLS, SB1407 was tabled for a year during this weekend's long end to the
Illinois State legislative session. Your work and response to our call to action last week was a big part of
what made this happen. If you aren't yet a part of our legislative action system, click here.
IL HOUSE VOTES TO TABLE SB 1407, ETHANOL PLANTS SAFE FOR ANOTHER YEAR
Late on May 31, the IL House tabled SB 1407, the bill with an amendment that would make IL ethanol industry growth difficult due to increased cost to construct and operate. Illinois agriculture joined with IL Renewable Fuels Association to show opposition to this portion of the bill and Illinois representatives heard our cries.
House Republican Leader Jim Durkin and his caucus members were persistent in their push against this bill, with Marquis Energy and ADM working hard to develop and promote alternatives to the bill. Thanks to all the effort, we now have a year to discuss alternatives, to build a case proving how this idea would stymie ethanol industry growth, and to talk with Representatives and Governor Pritzer.
THANK YOU Illinois corn farmers for showing up and making a difference!
COVER CROPS IN STATE BUDGET
The Illinois Department of Agriculture will adopt and implement a crop insurance reward program for cover crops that IL Corn, American Farmland Trust, The Nature Conservancy, Soil and Water Conservation Districts, and a coalition of other organizations developed. The program, “Fall Covers for Spring Savings: Crop Insurance Reward Pilot Program,” will help farmers meet the goals of the Illinois Nutrient Loss Reduction Strategy by reducing nitrate and phosphorous from non-point sources.
The budget includes $300,000 to fund the new pilot program. Farmers using cover crops will be eligible for a $5/acre reward on their crop insurance. The program is meant to test whether a small crop insurance reward applied to fields planted in cover crops would incentivize more use of the practice across Illinois.
The adoption of the program marks the first time new funding has been approved for the NLRS since it was adopted in 2015. Cover crops are key practice identified in the NLRS to reducing nitrate and phosphorous loss from non-point sources.
Learn more here.
Regarding the Capital Infrastructure Plan:
- The final version of the bill includes a 19-cent motor fuel tax increase, making the tax 38 cents beginning July 1
- It also increases diesel taxes 5 cents
- Truck registration fees increase $100, car registration fees increase $50 and driver's license and title transfer fees increase.
- Electric vehicle registration fees increase to $248.
- In future years, a gradual transition of sales tax revenue collected on motor fuels will move from the state's general fund and eventually will be dedicated to the state's road funds.