Synopsis As Introduced Creates the Farmers' Market Technology Improvement Program Act. Provides that out of funds appropriated to the Department of Human Services for the LINK program, the Department, in cooperation with the Illinois Department of Agriculture, shall use whatever monies are necessary to implement the Farmers' Market Technology Improvement Program to assist nontraditional fresh food markets, such as farmers' markets, Green Carts, market boxes, farm stands and mobile farm stands, produce stands, and other open-air markets, to develop the capability to accept wireless electronic payment cards, including electronic benefits transfer cards or LINK cards, and maintain the equipment usage. Provides that the purpose of the program is to increase access to fresh fruits and vegetables and other LINK eligible food products, including quality meat and dairy, for all Illinois residents by allowing LINK program participants to redeem their SNAP benefits at nontraditional fresh food markets. Requires grant funding to be used for one or more specified purposes including the purchase or rental of wireless point of sale terminals capable of processing SNAP benefits disbursed under the LINK program. Effective July 1, 2010.
Replaces everything after the enacting clause with similar provisions creating the Farmers' Market Technology Improvement Program Act, but with changes that include the following: (1) changes the definition of "farmers' market" and removes definitions relating to features of farmers' markets; (2) creates the Farmers' Market Technology Improvement Fund as a special fund in the State treasury to receive moneys to be used for implementing the program, and amends the State Finance Act in connection therewith; (3) requires the Department of Human Services and the Department of Agriculture to solicit federal and State funding for implementing the program; (4) changes the purposes for which program funding must be used; and (5) changes the bill's effective date from July 1, 2010 to July 1, 2011. Effective July 1, 2011.
House Floor Amendment No. 2 Changes the definition of "Farmers' market" to mean a nontraditional fresh food market, licensed by the United States Department of Agriculture's Food and Nutrition Service to accept SNAP benefits, where farmers or growers sell a variety of fresh fruits and vegetables and other locally-grown farm products directly to consumers (rather than, a common facility or area that has been approved by the United States Department of Agriculture's Food and Nutrition Service where several farmers or growers gather on a regular, recurring basis to sell a variety of fresh fruits and vegetables and other locally-grown farm products directly to consumers, including nontraditional fresh food markets). Provides that the Act shall take effect July 1, 2010 (rather than, July 1, 2011) and that the Department of Human Services shall have the regulations in place and shall implement the program by March 31, 2011. Effective July 1, 2010.