To ensure local families, groups and organizations are involved in the legislative decision making process, State Representative Tom Bennett (R-Gibson City) is forming local Advisory Committees. The new 106th District Agricultural Advisory Committee has held its first meeting, and set priorities, Rep. Bennett said.
“As bills and budgets are being discussed this spring we need to make sure local families and groups are included in the conversation. That’s what my new advisory groups are all about,” Bennett said. “My focus on agriculture goes back to my roots growing up on a farm in Gibson City. Farming practices should be profitable and safe for the environment. Farmers need to be able to provide a safe food supply for both current and future needs.”
Some of the key issues Representative Bennett’s Agriculture Advisory Committee is discussing include:
• The State Budget as it applies to the Illinois Department of Agriculture;
• Preserving the agriculture sales tax exemption on seed, fertilizer and farm equipment;
• Keeping the Environmental Regulation and Livestock Management Facilities Act in place;
• Supporting agricultural curriculum at both the high school and college levels;
• Reforming the Estate Tax;
• Funding Soil and Water Conservation districts.
The Agriculture Advisory Committee includes representatives and input from all four district Farm Bureaus – Ford/Iroquois, Livingston, Vermilion and Woodford.
Other Advisory Committees Representative Bennett is forming include Education and Business, which will be ready to meet soon.