News Update

Dear Friend,

I hope you and your family had a great week and were able to celebrate the good news of Easter together. I had many good opportunities to travel throughout the district to support community organizations and share in good food and fellowship. I attended the Highland FFA Banquet. I donated a “Fed by the Rep.” basket and attended the Chakota Therapeutic Riding Center’s Mane Event. I also got to attend the Washington County Backstoppers event and donated 4 Blues Hockey tickets. And, I went to the Light the Way Gala for the Bond County Schools and donated a meal for 12 at my farm. I love the opportunity to support community organizations and meet people.

A Quick Note of Thanks

I also wanted to share a quick note – for those of you who have interacted with my office over the past 10 years, there is a chance you interacted with Chris Guy. Chris has been my communications staffer and friend. He is ending his service in state government to join the private sector. I took some time this week in Springfield to thank Chris on the floor of the House. Thank you Chris for all you have done to help me and to help the people of our district!

Legislative Update

Last week we were in Springfield from Tuesday through Thursday and they unexpectedly canceled the scheduled Friday. And, we’re back this week starting today. The regular legislative session is scheduled from January to May most years, but we have deadlines throughout that schedule to keep the process moving. Last Friday was scheduled to be the deadline for bills in the House passing out of committee. As we know by now, Democrats typically throw these self-imposed deadlines out the window for their own priorities, but we Republicans have to follow the rules to get any of our bills passed. The Democrats allowed just 32 Republican bills to be heard in Committee this week and 181 Democratic bills. The reason this is so lopsided is not because Republicans have proposed bad ideas and Democrats have proposed good ideas. Republicans have proposed bills to lower the cost of living, bring down the income tax, lower the tax rate on diapers, and promote economic growth. Meanwhile, Democrats passed bills out of committee that ban the ownership of kangaroos. This silliness is exactly why taxpayers are fed up with state government and it should end.

Morel Mushrooms

Unlike many other species of fungi in Illinois, morels are a sensitive variety of mushrooms that grow only during the spring months and only under the right conditions, meaning they are as scarce as they are delicious.

Has anyone found any morels this year?

You can read more about morels in Illinois here.

Biofuel Bill Implemented

A bipartisan bill that I worked on to encourage the use of higher blends of biodiesel took effect on Monday. This is a landmark statute that will benefit all Illinoisians as well as the state’s environment.

This new law will help Illinois soybean farmers continue to be leaders in the biofuel market, creating jobs and revenue for Illinois. Encouraging the use of a higher percentage of biodiesel blends will help reduce emissions up to 74% compared to normal diesel fuel.

“This is a significant milestone law for Illinois soybean farmers, but it also shows how the whole state can come together around an issue with multiple benefits for all our citizens and the environment,” said Kindred, a soybean farmer from Atlanta, located in central Illinois and the President of the Illinois Soybean Association.

“Our estimates indicate this bill creates new demand for an average of 90-100 million gallons of soybean oil or the equivalent of about 65-70 million bushels of soybeans annually once B20 is fully implemented,” he added. “This momentous achievement elevates Illinois to the pinnacle of renewable fuels leadership, and it represents a giant leap toward a more sustainable future that starts on Illinois farms. This was a total team effort involving numerous partners across political parties, agriculture, biofuels production, transportation, and clean air advocacy.”

Allied groups, such as the American Lung Association, also are applauding the bill’s passage.

“Increasing the biodiesel blend available in Illinois from 11% to 20% over the next few years marks a significant step in the right direction for our state,” said Bailey Arnold, the American Lung Association’s Director of Clean Air Initiatives. “The shift to higher blends will lower tailpipe pollutants and drastically reduce carbon emissions across the transportation sector, leading to better air quality and a healthier environment for all Illinoisans.”

ISA’s Kindred further explained that the B20 bill raises the bar on biodiesel use by increasing the minimum biodiesel blend level eligible for tax exemption. Starting April 1, 2024, the eligible fuel mixture will jump from the current B11 to B14. This means 14% of every gallon of biodiesel sold in Illinois between April 1 and Nov. 30 will be derived largely from domestically produced, renewable vegetable oil, with soybeans being the top contributor by far.

In subsequent years, the minimum biodiesel blend levels eligible for a tax exemption jump to 17% and 20%. Biodiesel is a cleaner-burning alternative to traditional diesel, significantly improving air quality and mitigating the impact of transportation-related greenhouse gasses.

Down on the Farm:

I stopped and got some new chicks at the Hamel Feed Store after I visited DK’s Market.

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