Capitol Ag Day FB

SPRINGFIELD – In honor of the 51st Annual Illinois Agriculture Legislative Day, Senate Agriculture Chairman Patrick Joyce (D-Essex) connected with farmers, agricultural organizations and other industry stakeholders virtually Wednesday.

“Agriculture is our state’s number-one industry, and as chairperson of the Senate Agriculture Committee, supporting its progress is one of my top priorities,” Joyce said. “I firmly believe we must do all we can to support our farmers who are out there every day making a difference.”

The day-long event, organized by the Illinois Department of Agriculture, provides groups the opportunity to raise awareness of industry-related issues and educate legislators about the role of agribusiness in the community. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Joyce connected with these groups virtually.

“Agriculture is vital to our state’s economy, and I take pride in being a voice for the industry in the General Assembly,” Joyce said. “It was rewarding to see all these groups get involved and participate virtually today.”

Joyce, who is dedicated to helping farmers and the agriculture industry, is working with the Department of Agriculture on several measures this legislative session, including Senate Bill 1657 and Senate Bill 1658. Both pieces of legislation passed the Senate Agriculture Committee and await further consideration by the full Senate.

Category: Press Releases

03.08.2021 Farm 1SPRINGFIELD – To benefit Illinois farmers and help reduce the state’s dependence on foreign fuel sources, Senate Agriculture Chair Patrick Joyce (D-Essex) advanced a measure that aims to create a statewide renewable fuel standard which would require biodiesel for transportation fuel beginning in 2024.

“The demand for biodiesel is growing quickly, and it’s important that Illinois keeps up,” Joyce said. “Biodiesel offers environmental and performance benefits, as well as an economic boost for our farmers.”

Senate Bill 2394 is an initiative of the Illinois Soybean Association and would require diesel sold within the state for use in internal combustion engines to be at least 5% biodiesel fuel oil by volume prior to July 1, 2024, and 20% after that. Certain exemptions would be allowed, including for fuel used in locomotives, marine engines and for power generation.

“Transitioning to biodiesel is not only better for the environment—it also puts money back into local farmers’ pockets,” Joyce said. “As we invest in greener technologies, it’s important that we find ways to keep Illinois dollars in Illinois.”

Senate Bill 2394 passed the Senate Agriculture Committee Thursday and awaits further consideration.

Category: Press Releases


SPRINGFIELD – On Wednesday morning, State Senator Patrick Joyce (D-Essex) joined a press conference alongside State Senator Dave Koehler (D-Peoria), Representative Jay Hoffman (D-Swansea) and Illinois State Police Director Brendan Kelly to discuss legislation to modernize Firearms Owner Identification cards in Illinois.

“It’s vital that FOID and concealed carry license applications be processed quickly and efficiently,” Joyce said. “I’m proud to be a co-sponsor on this important legislation so we can help clear the backlog and keep the Illinois State Police moving forward.”
Senate Bill 1165, an initiative of the ISP, would create a prohibited persons portal to help law enforcement identify people whose FOID cards have been revoked, create a review board to respond to revocations and denials, and enact other changes to make the application and renewal process more efficient.

Read more: Joyce advocates for legislation to modernize FOID cards at press conference

Category: Press Releases

03162021CM0316SPRINGFIELD – In an effort to address the substitute teacher shortage in Illinois, State Senator Patrick Joyce (D-Essex) has introduced a bill that would increase the number of hours a retired teacher may work without impairing their retirement status.

“The pandemic has put a strain on the already-shrinking pool of teachers,” Joyce said. “As more school districts transition from remote learning to in-person instruction, some will be faced with challenges in hiring substitute teachers.”

Currently, Illinois law allows retired teachers to substitute teach for up to 120 days or 600 hours without jeopardizing their retirement status. Because retired teachers often return to work as substitute teachers, Joyce’s initiative would create a yearly, rather than lifetime limit: Retired teachers could substitute teach for 100 days or 500 hours each school year beginning July 1, 2023.

“There’s no question that something must change,” Joyce said. “The goal of this legislation is to increase the pool of qualified substitute teachers for school districts while allowing former teachers to maintain their retirement status.”

Senate Bill 1989 passed the Senate Education Committee Tuesday and now goes to the full Senate.

Category: Press Releases

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