Springfield, Illinois — The recently passed 2022 fiscal year budget featured conservation programs and new and increased support for the Illinois Department of Agriculture.
The Illinois House of Representatives approved a budget of 72-44-1, with only the Democratic Party voting in favor. The Senate cast 37-21 votes in favor of the fiscal year blueprint, opposed by all Republicans and three Democrats. It is now heading to Governor JB Pritzker’s desk.
• Covercrop premium discount program funding has more than doubled from $ 300,000 to $ 660,000. This move will increase from 50,000 acres to 100,000 acres in the first two years of the program. The fall cover of IDOA’s Spring Savings Program was quickly filled in the last two years. The current discount program began the application period on December 15, 2020 and reached the 50,000 acre limit within the first 24 hours. There were 768 applications requesting over 185,000 acres. In the first year of the program, the 50,000 acre allocation was filled within 10 days and more than 500 applications requested more than 133,000 acres of covered crops.
• Parliamentarians increased soil and water conservation area funding for operations from $ 4 million to $ 8.5 billion after a few years of inactivity.
• The 2022 fiscal year budget created a new source of funding for nutrition loss reduction strategies with $ 3.5 million items. Most of the funding in the past was provided through District 5 of the US Environmental Protection Agency. Nutrition Loss Reduction Fund creates an Illinois Partner for Nutrition Loss Reduction Act. It provides financial support with the Partners for Conservation Fund and Partners for Conservation Projects Fund, which may be used to implement the state’s NLRS. The NLRS bill states that the Accounting Auditor will automatically transfer money from the General Revenue Fund to Conservation Fund partners until June 30, 2027. Funding from conservation fund partners is provided annually to the Illinois EPA, IDOA, and the Department of Natural Resources. For specific amounts and specific uses.
• The allocation of general revenue funds to IDOA has also increased after several years of stagnation. The budget set for IDOA is $ 18.18 million. The state spending was $ 17.82 million the previous year and was $ 14,519 million in fiscal year 2020. The remaining IDOA subscription information within the budget has increased slightly or has not changed.
“If you asked me at the end of December, on January 1st you would have said that this budget wasn’t interesting. We were talking about having to defend the sales tax exemption, There was more rosy news that state tax revenues increased and federal funding increased, which actually saw an increase in programs, “said Kevin Johnson, interim chairman of the Illinois Fertilizer Chemistry Association. Says.
Johnson commented on the “good news” from the new budget.
About cover crops
“When the Department of Agriculture announced it a few years ago, funding was very quick and now we plan to double it. That money will probably be exhausted soon.
“Covered crops are definitely part of the solution to our nutrition loss reduction strategy. All we have to do to keep this going is one tool in the toolbox. It’s nice to see that. I thought there was some increase, but I didn’t know how much it would increase at the end of the day, but that’s a nice surprise. “
“My friends in the soil and water areas were shocked. They have been funding the level for years. I wasn’t sure if that would happen, but many water quality issues. I’m glad they got what they needed because they worked with us. “
“The Nutrient Loss Reduction Strategy was the first to provide dedicated funding. Most of the funding in the past was through USEPA District 5. It was funded through the Illinois EPA and the Illinois Ag Department, but continues. Most of the funding to do so was through USEPA District 5.
“We knew that it wouldn’t always last. Some product groups and IFCA worked with some environmental groups. We look for long-term funding for this. Had a good coalition for.
“This is a $ 3.5 million budget item and you have to come back every year to protect that money for your strategy, but at least there’s some money in your nutrition loss reduction strategy to keep it running. Program. This is a shared venture between the Illinois EPA and IDOA, as was the entire NLRS program.
The “Tby 2000” program (another name given to the original Illinois Erosion and Sediment Management Act passed in April 1980) still has items in its budget and nutrition loss reductions created by the new Nutrition Loss Reduction Act. Updated as an Illinois Partner of the Law. Funding a nutrient loss reduction strategy.
“We needed some money to maintain this, so the idea was to keep it moving. We knew that the Illinois EPA and IDOA had no plans to raise money in the long run. As you know, the General Revenue Fund doesn’t get any new money for anything, but can we continue to tackle this issue? Other states are funding similar programs. However, due to Illinois’ budget constraints, how can this project continue beyond 2025?
“IFCA, the Merchandise Group and the Environmental Group have been working on this. Through this we have built a great partnership.”
https://www.agrinews-pubs.com/business/2021/06/17/conservation-winner-in-state-budget/ State Budget Conservation Winner – AgriNews