Last week, Governor Pat Quinn signed into law legislation that will help put more Illinois-grown food on Illinois tables. House Bill 3990 is designed to increase demand for locally-grown food by building a reliable market for it at state agencies and facilities that receive significant state support.
Key elements of the legislation include:
- Formation of the Illinois Local Food, Farms, and Jobs Council, which will work with state agencies, Illinois businesses, and organizations to build an active local farm and food market.
- Establishment of local food procurement goals for state agencies to purchase 20% of their food locally by 2020. State-funded institutions such as schools would have a goal of 10% by 2020.
- Creation of a local food purchase preference for state-owned food buyers that allows them to pay a premium of up to 10% above the lowest bid in order to purchase locally grown goods.