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


Rep. Sonya M. Harper

Filed: 3/20/2023





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2    AMENDMENT NO. ______. Amend House Bill 3556 by replacing
3everything after the enacting clause with the following:
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;



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1        (2) is at least 21 years of age;
2        (3) has previously identified as Black or African
3    American; and
4        (4) has at least one parent of African ancestry.
5    "Limited resource farmer" means a farmer with direct or
6indirect gross farm sales not more than the current indexed
7value in each of the previous 2 years, and who has a total
8household income at or below the national poverty level for a
9family of 4, or less than 50% of county median household income
10in each of the previous 2 years.
11    "Qualified entity" means an organization:
12        (1) that has a fiscal sponsor who is exempt from
13    taxation pursuant to Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal
14    Revenue Code of 1986;
15        (2) that has a minimum of 3 years of experience
16    providing agricultural services, business assistance,
17    legal assistance, or advocacy services to socially
18    disadvantaged farmers; and
19        (3) in which at least one-half of the members of the
20    organization's board of directors are Black.
21    "Socially disadvantaged farmer" means a farmer who is a
22member of a socially disadvantaged group.
23    "Socially disadvantaged group" means a group of people
24whose members have been subject to racial or ethnic prejudice
25because of their identity as a member of a group without regard
26to their individual qualities.



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1    "Training" means a program of training approved by the
2Director that:
3        (1) provides an eligible individual with the basic
4    skills to operate a farm profitably with a primary focus
5    on regenerating the soil, ecosystem, and local community;
6        (2) provides a course of study that is equivalent to
7    no less than 30 academic credit hours of study, which may
8    be provided as direct in-field instruction;
9        (3) focuses on low capital-intensive techniques and
10    technologies; and
11        (4) studies local and regional food systems and the
12    market opportunities those systems present.
13    Section 10. Black Farmer Restoration Program Fund.
14    (a) The Black Farmer Restoration Program Fund is created
15as a special fund in the State treasury. Except as provided in
16subsection (b), the moneys in the fund, upon appropriation by
17the General Assembly, shall be used for the purposes of the
18program, which include the purchase of agricultural
19conservation easements, fee title acquisition grants to
20private landowners, socially disadvantaged farmers, and
21limited resource farmers, land improvement and planning
22grants, technical assistance grants, technical assistance
23provided by the Department, technology transfer activities of
24the Department, and administrative costs incurred by the
25Department in administering the program.



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1    (b) Notwithstanding subsection (a), moneys may be
2deposited into the fund from federal grants, and gifts and
3donations that are designated and required by the donor to be
4used exclusively for the purposes of the program.
5    (c) Not to exceed 10% of all grants made by the Department
6under this Act may be made for land improvement purposes,
7technical assistance purposes, and policy planning purposes.
8Not less than 90% of funds available for grants under this Act
9shall be expended for the acquisition of interests in land.
10For purposes of this Act, the expenditures specified in this
11subsection shall be deemed expenditures for the acquisition of
12interests in land. Not less than 75% of funds shall be provided
13to applicants that lease or sell to socially disadvantaged
14farmers. Moneys in the fund shall also be available for the
15following purposes:
16        (1) To provide technical assistance grants to eligible
17    assistance entities in support of socially disadvantaged
18    farmers who are seeking financing for land acquisition or
19    leasing. For purposes of this Section, technical
20    assistance includes, but is not limited to, organizing,
21    advising, counseling, educating, planning, drafting,
22    translating, interpreting, and consulting with socially
23    disadvantaged farmers for the purpose of preparing them
24    for favorable financing for land acquisition or
25    negotiating leasing arrangements.
26         (2) To provide acquisition assistance grants to



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1    eligible assistance entities for the sole purpose of
2    reducing barriers to land access for socially
3    disadvantaged farmers, including, but not limited to, down
4    payment assistance, interest rate assistance, direct costs
5    incidental to acquisition, and infrastructure for land
6    improvement.
7        (3) To provide technical assistance grants to eligible
8    assistance entities in support of socially disadvantaged
9    farmers who are seeking financing for land acquisition or
10    leasing. For purposes of this paragraph (3), technical
11    assistance includes, but is not limited to, organizing,
12    advising, counseling, educating, planning, drafting,
13    translating, interpreting, and consulting with socially
14    disadvantaged farmers for the purpose of preparing them
15    for favorable financing for land acquisition or
16    negotiating leasing arrangements.
17        (4) To provide acquisition assistance grants to
18    eligible assistance entities for the sole purpose of
19    reducing barriers to land access for socially
20    disadvantaged farmers, including, but not limited to, down
21    payment assistance, interest rate assistance, direct costs
22    incidental to acquisition, and infrastructure for land
23    improvement.
24    Section 15. Department and Director responsibilities.
25    (a) Subject to appropriation, the Department shall:



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1        (1) purchase, from willing sellers, available
2    agricultural land within this State at a price no greater
3    than fair market value; and
4        (2) convey grants of the purchased land to eligible
5    individuals at no cost to the eligible individual.
6    (b) A land grant to an eligible individual may not exceed
7one hundred acres.
8    (c) Eligible individuals:
9        (1) An eligible individual seeking a land grant shall
10    submit an application on a form and in a manner approved by
11    the Director that must include a legal description of the
12    eligible agricultural land.
13        (2) The Director shall give priority to applications
14    to:
15            (A) socially disadvantaged farmers;
16            (B) eligible individuals with a family history of
17        land dispossession;
18            (C) eligible individuals with experience in
19        agriculture, including experience obtained through the
20        provisions of this article; and
21            (D) eligible individuals who are veterans.
22        (3) The Director may grant an application submitted by
23    a qualified entity on behalf of one or more eligible
24    individuals seeking a land grant. An application submitted
25    by a qualified entity for more than one hundred acres must
26    include a proposal for how the land will be subdivided and



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1    separately conveyed to multiple eligible individuals.
2    (d) Granted land.
3        (1) The Director shall attach an agricultural easement
4    to the land before it may be conveyed to the eligible
5    individual or qualified entity.
6        (2) The recipient of the land grant may sell the land,
7    but the Department has the right of first refusal to
8    purchase the land at the appraised value of the land to
9    convey to another eligible individual pursuant to the
10    provisions of this article.
11    Section 20. Farm Conservation Corps.
12    (a) Subject to appropriation and in partnership with the
13University of Illinois Extension, the Department shall
14establish the Farm Conservation Corps to provide residents
15between the ages of 18 and 29 from socially disadvantaged
16groups the academic, vocational, and social skills necessary
17to pursue long-term and productive careers in agriculture.
18    (b) The members of the Farm Conservation Corps shall serve
19as on-farm apprentices, at no cost, to farms with an annual
20gross farm income of less than $250,000 operated by:
21        (1) socially disadvantaged farmers;
22        (2) beginning farmers; or
23        (3) farmers operating certified organic farms.
24    Section 25. Data collection and reporting.



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1    (a) Generally. Subject to appropriation, the Director
2shall make publicly available annual reports describing data
3on the recipients of the Department programs, including
4assistance from farm subsidy programs, and the amounts of the
5assistance, delineated by the race, ethnicity, and gender of
6the recipients.
7    (b) Research of socially disadvantaged farmers. Subject to
8appropriation, the Department shall conduct research on the
9status of socially disadvantaged farmers, including, but not
10limited to:
11        (1) the share of land ownership of those socially
12    disadvantaged farmers as compared to all farmers,
13    delineated by the race, ethnicity, and gender of the
14    landowners;
15        (2) the share of the amount of assistance those
16    socially disadvantaged farmers receive from the Department
17    as compared to all farmers, delineated by the race,
18    ethnicity, and gender of the recipients;
19        (3) the share, status, and receipt of loans by
20    socially disadvantaged farmers as compared to all farmers,
21    delineated by the race, ethnicity, and gender of the
22    recipients; and
23        (4) an assessment of the reasons for disparities in
24    land ownership, assistance from the Department, and loans
25    for socially disadvantaged farmers compared to all
26    farmers.



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1    (c) Research of farmworkers. Subject to appropriation, the
2Department shall conduct research on the demographics and
3status of farmworkers, including, but not limited to:
4        (1) the races, ethnicities, ages, localities, wages
5    and benefits, and working conditions of farmworkers;
6        (2) the economic contributions of farmworkers to the
7    Illinois economy; and
8        (3) satisfaction of farmworkers with their employment.
9    (d) Census of agriculture. The Department shall:
10        (1) investigate historical changes in reporting
11    methodology and misreporting of socially disadvantaged
12    farmers in the census of agriculture;
13        (2) develop procedures to ensure that census of
14    agriculture surveys accurately capture the status of
15    socially disadvantaged farmers engaged in urban
16    agriculture; and
17        (3) conduct, concurrently with each census of
18    agriculture, a review to assess:
19            (A) the outreach and methodologies used in
20        conducting the census of agriculture; and
21            (B) how such outreach and methodologies have
22        affected the counting of socially disadvantaged
23        farmers.
24    (e) Corporate ownership of farmland. Subject to
25appropriation, the Department shall annually conduct, and
26annually make publicly available reports describing, in-depth



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1research and analysis of corporate (domestic and foreign) land
2investment and ownership in Illinois, with specific attention
3given to the impact of corporate land investment and ownership
5        (1) land consolidation trends in Illinois and in the
6    United States;
7        (2) challenges and opportunities for new and beginning
8    farmers accessing land for farming;
9        (3) challenges and opportunities for members of
10    socially disadvantaged groups accessing land for farming;
11    and
12        (4) crop selection and production trends.
13    Section 35. Rulemaking. The Department shall adopt rules
14to carry out the provisions of this Act.
15    Section 90. The State Finance Act is amended by adding
16Section 5.990 as follows:
17    (30 ILCS 105/5.990 new)
18    Sec. 5.990. The Black Farmer Restoration Program Fund.
19    Section 99. Effective date. This Act takes effect upon
20becoming law.".