IFB opposes Illinois General Assembly companion bills

Legislation would allow agencies, individuals who follow state rules to be taken to courtBills could have negative implications for agriculture, such as slowing down livestock facility expansion. "If the bill passes, it will bring growth in the agriculture economy to a halt," says IFB official. 

By Kay Shipman

Companion bills in the Illinois General Assembly would negatively impact the state’s agriculture industry by allowing individuals to sue state agencies and individuals who follow state regulations.

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SB 3005, sponsored by Sen. Kwame Raoul, D-Chicago, and HB 5119, sponsored by Rep. Steve Andersson, R-Geneva, proposes to amend the state administrative law and allow any person who feels adversely affected by a state agency decision to bring a lawsuit.

“This is extremely concerning for the agriculture industry,” said Bill Bodine, Illinois Farm Bureau associate director of state legislation. “If the bill were to become law, all farmers in Illinois would face negative impacts.”

For example, the legislation would allow an individual to file a lawsuit challenging the siting of a livestock facility approved by the Illinois Department of Agriculture (IDOA) because the individual didn’t agree with the agency’s decision.

“Even though the farmer followed the law and got approval from IDOA, they could face a lawsuit and a costly defense before they are allowed to construct,” Bodine said. “If the bill passes, it will bring growth in the agriculture economy to a halt.”

Bodine said IFB is working with agriculture and business groups to educate lawmakers about the negative impacts.

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