Governor Patrick Quinn recently signed HB3990, which will put the state on the road to a vastly expanded supply of Illinois-grown food for Illinois tables.

“I salute Illinois farmers and business leaders, who work hard every day to boost our state’s economy,” said Governor Quinn. “They have made Illinois one of the largest food-producing states in the nation. This legislation helps make sure that more of the food they produce is eaten in Illinois.”

Gov. Quinn said this legislation represents a first step in a process that could ultimately bring as much as $30 billion a year to the state’s economy.

The new law is designed to greatly increase demand for locally grown food by starting the process of building a reliable market for local food at facilities and institutions, like public schools, that receive significant state support. The legislation also establishes the Illinois Local Food, Farms, and Jobs Council, which will encourage farmers to grow food for local markets and facilitate the building of the systems needed to get it there.

A study released earlier this year by the Illinois Local and Organic Food and Farm Task Force said that of the approximately $48 billion spent by Illinoisans on food each year, only a tiny fraction is grown in Illinois.

Representative Julie Hamos, lead sponsor of the bill in the House of Representatives, said, “This legislation is the first step in creating a fresh-farm-and-food system in Illinois that will bring important benefits to every corner of our state.”

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