IICFA

  (Ozark, Illinois)
NAIS bill - support its passage
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IL SB2959 - please help us get this bill passed! (Raw honey)

IL Senator Luechtefeld has introduced bill number SB2959. We're asking for all the support we can get for this bill to go through. Please call/write/email your IL Senator and ask that he or she co-sponsor as well as support SB2959.
 
If you could also leave a short thank you message with Senator Luechtefeld's office, it would be WONDERFUL. He has, for the last three years, been 100% behind us, going well out of his way when others would not, and we have a lot to thank him for -
 
2959 is about honey and beekeeping. However, it is of interest to all of us. Beyond benefit to those raising bees or eating honey, the provisions in this bill will make dealing with NAIS and similar other ag issues that much easier. The provisions for exemption from inspection and regulation will apply to other areas of ag ONLY if we can get this bill passed into law. (Please also note we are working on introducing something specific to NAIS as well this session, so Illinoisans will be rather busy this session!)
 
So - its time once again to rally the forces, and see if we can get this thing through now that we don't have to face the same stone-walling we did a couple years ago.
 
I have attached a copy of the press release, and if you could distribute this to your local papers, that would be a great help also. The farther we can spread word and gain support the better!!
 
Synopsis of bill on il.gov:
 
Synopsis As Introduced
Amends the Illinois Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act and the Criminal Code of 1961 to include in the definition of "raw agricultural commodity", honey that is in the comb or that is removed from the comb and in an unadulterated condition. Further amends the Illinois Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act to provide that notwithstanding any other provision of the Act, the Department of Public Health may not regulate honey that is in the comb or that is removed from the comb and in an unadulterated condition. Provides that both forms of honey are exempt from the provisions of the Act. Amends the Sanitary Food Preparation Act. Sets forth a definition of "honey house". Provides that notwithstanding any other provision of the Act, the Department of Public Health may not regulate honey that is in the comb or that is removed from the comb and in an unadulterated condition. Provides that both forms of honey are exempt from the provisions of the Act. Provides that if a producer is engaged in the sale of honey at a local market and packs or sells less than 500 gallons of honey produced in this State per year, then the Department may not regulate or inspect the producer's honey house.

Link: http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/billstatus.asp?DocNum=2959&GAID=10&GA=96&DocTypeID=SB&LegID=50071&SessionID=76
Link to full text: http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/fulltext.asp?DocName=&SessionId=76&GA=96&DocTypeId=SB&DocNum=2959&GAID=10&LegID=50071&SpecSess=&Session= (Be sure the "=" is included!)
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And something I swiped from an email I got on this:
 
We know from last year that once 2-3 new Co-Sponsors are added, the ball tends to get rolling. If you can get one of the ISBA members in Springfield to drop by the Capitol, there might be a seating chart available.  If that is scanned in, people can look at where their Senator sits and mention "Next time you see (insert the 4 Senator's close by names), would you please ask them to become co-sponsors?). We had quite a few say "Yes."

Also - here is a nice little blogspot which you might already know is up, but it has direct links to action that can be taken.

http://basicbeekeeping.blogspot.com/

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A couple tips from a marketing course I took on the subject of press releases..
 
If you want to get the release in the paper but they don't really want to print it, contact one of the reporters that deals with ag or with food... Call them! Discuss the issue a little, offer a couple "bullet point" style story angles, and offer to send the release directly to them. Call first thing in the morning so that they are still trying to figure out what they will write about. Be sure when sending the email to also include a link to the bill... That way they can get more details. (The press release attached has a phone number also.)
 
Something the instructor told me that makes a lot of sense is that by providing an idea and a couple angles with a tiny bit of background, we are doing THEM the favor, and we're a lot more likely to see something in print. The phone call makes it personal, and they get the idea that this might just be important to more than just one or two readers.
 
 
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