Illinois General Assembly - Full Text of HB3556
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Full Text of HB3556  103rd General Assembly




HB3556 EngrossedLRB103 30147 RLC 56571 b

1    AN ACT concerning agriculture.
2    Be it enacted by the People of the State of Illinois,
3represented in the General Assembly:
4    Section 1. Short title. This Act may be cited as the Black
5Farmer Restoration Program Act.
6    Section 5. Definitions. As used in this Act:
7    "Agricultural easement" means a nonpossessory interest of
8a holder in real property imposing limitations on the use of
9the property strictly to agricultural purposes. An
10agricultural easement does not prevent a property owner from
11constructing, improving, or maintaining a primary residence or
12housing for farmworkers on the land.
13    "Director" means the Director of Agriculture.
14    "Department" means the Illinois Department of Agriculture.
15    "Eligible individual" means a resident of this State who:
16        (1) was born in this State;
17        (2) is at least 21 years of age;
18        (3) has previously identified as Black or African
19    American; and
20        (4) has at least one parent of African ancestry.
21    "Limited resource farmer" means a farmer with direct or
22indirect gross farm sales not more than the current indexed
23value in each of the previous 2 years, and who has a total



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1household income at or below the national poverty level for a
2family of 4, or less than 50% of county median household income
3in each of the previous 2 years.
4    "Qualified entity" means an organization:
5        (1) that has a fiscal sponsor who is exempt from
6    taxation pursuant to Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal
7    Revenue Code of 1986;
8        (2) that has a minimum of 3 years of experience
9    providing agricultural services, business assistance,
10    legal assistance, or advocacy services to socially
11    disadvantaged farmers; and
12        (3) in which at least one-half of the members of the
13    organization's board of directors are Black.
14    "Socially disadvantaged farmer" means a farmer who is a
15member of a socially disadvantaged group.
16    "Socially disadvantaged group" means a group of people
17whose members have been subject to racial or ethnic prejudice
18because of their identity as a member of a group without regard
19to their individual qualities.
20    "Training" means a program of training approved by the
21Director that:
22        (1) provides an eligible individual with the basic
23    skills to operate a farm profitably with a primary focus
24    on regenerating the soil, ecosystem, and local community;
25        (2) provides a course of study that is equivalent to
26    no less than 30 academic credit hours of study, which may



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1    be provided as direct in-field instruction;
2        (3) focuses on low capital-intensive techniques and
3    technologies; and
4        (4) studies local and regional food systems and the
5    market opportunities those systems present.
6    Section 10. Black Farmer Restoration Program Fund.
7    (a) The Black Farmer Restoration Program Fund is created
8as a special fund in the State treasury. Except as provided in
9subsection (b), the moneys in the fund, upon appropriation by
10the General Assembly, shall be used for the purposes of the
11program, which include the purchase of agricultural
12conservation easements, fee title acquisition grants to
13private landowners, socially disadvantaged farmers, and
14limited resource farmers, land improvement and planning
15grants, technical assistance grants, technical assistance
16provided by the Department, technology transfer activities of
17the Department, and administrative costs incurred by the
18Department in administering the program.
19    (b) Notwithstanding subsection (a), moneys may be
20deposited into the fund from federal grants, and gifts and
21donations that are designated and required by the donor to be
22used exclusively for the purposes of the program.
23    (c) Not to exceed 10% of all grants made by the Department
24under this Act may be made for land improvement purposes,
25technical assistance purposes, and policy planning purposes.



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1Not less than 90% of funds available for grants under this Act
2shall be expended for the acquisition of interests in land.
3For purposes of this Act, the expenditures specified in this
4subsection shall be deemed expenditures for the acquisition of
5interests in land. Not less than 75% of funds shall be provided
6to applicants that lease or sell to socially disadvantaged
7farmers. Moneys in the fund shall also be available for the
8following purposes:
9        (1) To provide technical assistance grants to eligible
10    assistance entities in support of socially disadvantaged
11    farmers who are seeking financing for land acquisition or
12    leasing. For purposes of this Section, technical
13    assistance includes, but is not limited to, organizing,
14    advising, counseling, educating, planning, drafting,
15    translating, interpreting, and consulting with socially
16    disadvantaged farmers for the purpose of preparing them
17    for favorable financing for land acquisition or
18    negotiating leasing arrangements.
19         (2) To provide acquisition assistance grants to
20    eligible assistance entities for the sole purpose of
21    reducing barriers to land access for socially
22    disadvantaged farmers, including, but not limited to, down
23    payment assistance, interest rate assistance, direct costs
24    incidental to acquisition, and infrastructure for land
25    improvement.
26        (3) To provide technical assistance grants to eligible



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1    assistance entities in support of socially disadvantaged
2    farmers who are seeking financing for land acquisition or
3    leasing. For purposes of this paragraph (3), technical
4    assistance includes, but is not limited to, organizing,
5    advising, counseling, educating, planning, drafting,
6    translating, interpreting, and consulting with socially
7    disadvantaged farmers for the purpose of preparing them
8    for favorable financing for land acquisition or
9    negotiating leasing arrangements.
10        (4) To provide acquisition assistance grants to
11    eligible assistance entities for the sole purpose of
12    reducing barriers to land access for socially
13    disadvantaged farmers, including, but not limited to, down
14    payment assistance, interest rate assistance, direct costs
15    incidental to acquisition, and infrastructure for land
16    improvement.
17    Section 15. Department and Director responsibilities.
18    (a) Subject to appropriation, the Department shall:
19        (1) purchase, from willing sellers, available
20    agricultural land within this State at a price no greater
21    than fair market value; and
22        (2) convey grants of the purchased land to eligible
23    individuals at no cost to the eligible individual.
24    (b) A land grant to an eligible individual may not exceed
25one hundred acres.



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1    (c) Eligible individuals:
2        (1) An eligible individual seeking a land grant shall
3    submit an application on a form and in a manner approved by
4    the Director that must include a legal description of the
5    eligible agricultural land.
6        (2) The Director shall give priority to applications
7    to:
8            (A) socially disadvantaged farmers;
9            (B) eligible individuals with a family history of
10        land dispossession;
11            (C) eligible individuals with experience in
12        agriculture, including experience obtained through the
13        provisions of this article; and
14            (D) eligible individuals who are veterans.
15        (3) The Director may grant an application submitted by
16    a qualified entity on behalf of one or more eligible
17    individuals seeking a land grant. An application submitted
18    by a qualified entity for more than one hundred acres must
19    include a proposal for how the land will be subdivided and
20    separately conveyed to multiple eligible individuals.
21    (d) Granted land.
22        (1) The Director shall attach an agricultural easement
23    to the land before it may be conveyed to the eligible
24    individual or qualified entity.
25        (2) The recipient of the land grant may sell the land,
26    but the Department has the right of first refusal to



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1    purchase the land at the appraised value of the land to
2    convey to another eligible individual pursuant to the
3    provisions of this article.
4    Section 20. Farm Conservation Corps.
5    (a) Subject to appropriation and in partnership with the
6University of Illinois Extension, the Department shall
7establish the Farm Conservation Corps to provide residents
8between the ages of 18 and 29 from socially disadvantaged
9groups the academic, vocational, and social skills necessary
10to pursue long-term and productive careers in agriculture.
11    (b) The members of the Farm Conservation Corps shall serve
12as on-farm apprentices, at no cost, to farms with an annual
13gross farm income of less than $250,000 operated by:
14        (1) socially disadvantaged farmers;
15        (2) beginning farmers; or
16        (3) farmers operating certified organic farms.
17    Section 25. Data collection and reporting.
18    (a) Generally. Subject to appropriation, the Director
19shall make publicly available annual reports describing data
20on the recipients of the Department programs, including
21assistance from farm subsidy programs, and the amounts of the
22assistance, delineated by the race, ethnicity, and gender of
23the recipients.
24    (b) Research of socially disadvantaged farmers. Subject to



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1appropriation, the Department shall conduct research on the
2status of socially disadvantaged farmers, including, but not
3limited to:
4        (1) the share of land ownership of those socially
5    disadvantaged farmers as compared to all farmers,
6    delineated by the race, ethnicity, and gender of the
7    landowners;
8        (2) the share of the amount of assistance those
9    socially disadvantaged farmers receive from the Department
10    as compared to all farmers, delineated by the race,
11    ethnicity, and gender of the recipients;
12        (3) the share, status, and receipt of loans by
13    socially disadvantaged farmers as compared to all farmers,
14    delineated by the race, ethnicity, and gender of the
15    recipients; and
16        (4) an assessment of the reasons for disparities in
17    land ownership, assistance from the Department, and loans
18    for socially disadvantaged farmers compared to all
19    farmers.
20    (c) Research of farmworkers. Subject to appropriation, the
21Department shall conduct research on the demographics and
22status of farmworkers, including, but not limited to:
23        (1) the races, ethnicities, ages, localities, wages
24    and benefits, and working conditions of farmworkers;
25        (2) the economic contributions of farmworkers to the
26    Illinois economy; and



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1        (3) satisfaction of farmworkers with their employment.
2    (d) Census of agriculture. The Department shall:
3        (1) investigate historical changes in reporting
4    methodology and misreporting of socially disadvantaged
5    farmers in the census of agriculture;
6        (2) develop procedures to ensure that census of
7    agriculture surveys accurately capture the status of
8    socially disadvantaged farmers engaged in urban
9    agriculture; and
10        (3) conduct, concurrently with each census of
11    agriculture, a review to assess:
12            (A) the outreach and methodologies used in
13        conducting the census of agriculture; and
14            (B) how such outreach and methodologies have
15        affected the counting of socially disadvantaged
16        farmers.
17    (e) Corporate ownership of farmland. Subject to
18appropriation, the Department shall annually conduct, and
19annually make publicly available reports describing, in-depth
20research and analysis of corporate (domestic and foreign) land
21investment and ownership in Illinois, with specific attention
22given to the impact of corporate land investment and ownership
24        (1) land consolidation trends in Illinois and in the
25    United States;
26        (2) challenges and opportunities for new and beginning



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1    farmers accessing land for farming;
2        (3) challenges and opportunities for members of
3    socially disadvantaged groups accessing land for farming;
4    and
5        (4) crop selection and production trends.
6    Section 35. Rulemaking. The Department shall adopt rules
7to carry out the provisions of this Act.
8    Section 90. The State Finance Act is amended by adding
9Section 5.990 as follows:
10    (30 ILCS 105/5.990 new)
11    Sec. 5.990. The Black Farmer Restoration Program Fund.
12    Section 99. Effective date. This Act takes effect upon
13becoming law.