IFB policy addresses potential revenue source, maintains school board control

After thorough debate, delegates decide to maintain opposition to use and production of recreational marijuana.

Illinois Farm Bureau Vice President Brian Duncan addresses delegates at IFB's Annual Meeting on Monday. Duncan chairs the organization's resolutions process. (Photo by Catrina Rawson)

By Kay Shipman

County Farm Bureau delegates established policy regarding a potential revenue source and continued long-standing principle of school board control during debate at the Illinois Farm Bureau Annual Meeting in Chicago.

Looking to the upcoming Illinois legislative spring session and a new gubernatorial administration, delegates discussed the current policy of opposing recreational use of marijuana in light of the focus spent on the issue during the last election. As a candidate, Gov.-elect J.B. Pritzker strongly supported legalization of marijuana and noted the potential tax revenue would benefit Illinois.

After thorough debate, delegates voted to maintain policy opposing use, production and distribution of marijuana for recreation.

Lengthy debate on school safety resulted in maintaining IFB policy on school board control regarding firearms.

Delegates passed policy supporting the opportunity for school districts to allow school personnel to voluntarily carry a concealed firearm while on duty and on school property. Delegates also approved an Illinois State Police endorsed certification/training program for school personnel who are approved by their school district to carry a concealed firearm on school property.

Several delegates noted law enforcement response times may take as long as 30 minutes in some rural districts and urged delegates to allow school boards to determine how best to protect students. “I think it ought to be left up to local districts,” said Jefferson County Farm Bureau President John Howard.

In other state policy action, delegates:

- Support the current unified Southern Illinois University Board of governance with multiple campuses to better provide cost effective administration and better use of taxpayers’ dollars.

- Support county Farm Bureau efforts to work with their county officials to develop appropriate wind energy land use regulations for their county, and support written notice of intent to construct be given to drainage districts and affected landowners with tile outlets passing through the proposed wind farm, maintaining the right to repair tile.