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Bill Would Standardize Farmers’ Market Rules

Bill Would Standardize Farmers’ Market Rules

A measure that would standardize regulations for farmers markets across Illinois is making its way through the statehouse. It would assign a deadline to an Illinois Department of Public Health task force for establishing statewide regulations.

Rules for the markets currently vary by county. That can make for an unfriendly business environment for those selling their own produce, says Wes King, executive director of the Illinois Stewardship Alliance. His group supports the proposal, which would involve setting rules for food samples and for disclosing where produce originates.

The measure also would set the licensing fee for selling baked goods at the markets at $25. Currently, some counties charge $100 or more. “(Vendors) will have to comply with the same set of rules and regulations rather than the current patchwork quilt of regulations that we have,” said King. He says that would make it easier for farmers to sell their goods across the state.

The measure passed the House unanimously and has now passed out of a Senate committee.

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FILE - In this Nov. 3, 2002 file photo, Illinois state Treasurer Judy Baar Topinka participates in a Republican campaign rally in Springfield, Ill. Topinka, who won a second term for state comptroller in November 2014, died early Wednesday morning, Dec. 10, 2014, less than 24 hours after having a stroke, according to her office. She was 70. Topinka previously served three terms as Illinois state treasurer, was a former Illinois GOP chairwoman and ran for governor in 2006.

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