IFB state legislative priorities move out of committee

Right of first refusal of property heirs, endangered species policies were proposed by IFB and advanced with bipartisan support.

Two of IFB's state legislative priorities moved forward in the Illinois General Assembly last week, including two companion bills that would establish the right of first refusal of property heirs in cases of forced sale. (Illinois Farm Bureau file photo)

By Kay Shipman

Two of Illinois Farm Bureau’s state legislative priorities moved forward in the spring session legislative process last week. 

IFB supports two companion bills that would establish the right of first refusal of property heirs in cases of forced sale. Last week, the Senate Judiciary Committee passed SB 1780, sponsored by Sen. Rachelle Aud Crowe, D-Glen Carbon, with an 8-0 vote.

The law preserves the right of a co-tenant to sell his or her interest in inherited property, while ensuring other co-tenants have the necessary due process to prevent a forced sale.

“My hope with this bill is to prevent courts from forcing property sales, specifically to help families preserve their farmland,” Crowe told FarmWeek. “This legislation is crucial to allow families to keep farming their land for future generations if they wish to do so.”

On a 13-0 vote, the House Judiciary Civil Committee passed HB 3677, sponsored by Rep. Daniel Didech, D-Buffalo Grove. Didech noted the reform was proposed by IFB.

“This gives co-tenants the first right of refusal and will help people stay in their homes -- some for generations -- and determines a fair process so people don’t lose equity in forced sales as has happened in the past,” Didech said.

The process has been adopted already by 10 other states, Didech said, adding Illinois would have access to $50 million in federal funds if it adopted this proposal.

IFB seeks to improve transparency of the Illinois Endangered Species Act in HB 2425 sponsored by Rep. Andrew Chesney, R-Freeport. On a 13-0 vote, the House Agriculture and Conservation committee passed the bill.

The bill proposes the state would not require an additional incidental taking permit for a threatened or endangered species if a federal conservation agreement with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is in effect.

Chesney told FarmWeek his goal is to not have duplicative state and federal notification processes. “We don’t want to burden with duplicative processes,” he said. “Our primary objective is to streamline.”

The representative noted his bill received bipartisan support and participation.

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