Illinois General Assembly - Full Text of Public Act 094-0216
Illinois General Assembly

Previous General Assemblies

Public Act 094-0216




Public Act 094-0216
HB1575 Enrolled LRB094 06889 JAM 37000 b

    AN ACT concerning agriculture.
    Be it enacted by the People of the State of Illinois,
represented in the General Assembly:
    Section 1. Short title. This Act may be cited as the
Illinois AgrAbility Act.
    Section 5. Findings. The General Assembly finds the
        (1) Illinois is one of the leading
    agricultural-producing states in the nation. By being
    involved in such a diverse and highly mechanized industry,
    the more than 500,000 agricultural workers in Illinois are
    susceptible to any one of a number of work-related injuries
    and chronic health problems that limit an individual's
    ability to safely continue farming.
        (2) Available estimates indicate that, each year in
    Illinois, more than 200 farm workers sustain injuries,
    which result in permanent physical disabilities affecting
    their future income.
        (3) It is estimated that nationwide more than 200,000
    farmers, ranchers, and other agricultural workers
    experience injuries that result in lost work time. Of these
    injuries, 5% have serious or permanent results.
        (4) According to the most recent census data,
    approximately 5,000 Illinois farmers have permanent
    disabilities as a result of accidents, health related
    ailments, and age.
        (5) Farm operators and workers are typically highly
    skilled individuals and the loss of these individuals to a
    disability negatively impacts the Illinois farm economy.
    The AgrAbility Project established by the U. S. Department
    of Agriculture has been successful in helping agricultural
    workers who suffer from a disability continue to farm. A
    similar program established by the State and working with
    the existing AgrAbility Unlimited Program will assist even
    more Illinois citizens in receiving the assistance that
    they need and will benefit the State agriculture industry.
    Section 10. Definitions. As used in this Act:
    "AgrAbility Unlimited" means the joint program of the
University of Illinois Extension and the Easter Seals of
Central Illinois established in accordance with the AgrAbility
Program established by the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
    "Department" means the Department of Agriculture.
    "Director" means the Director of Agriculture.
    "Production agriculture" has the meaning set forth in
Section 3-35 of the Use Tax Act.
    Section 15. Illinois AgrAbility Program established.
    (a) Subject to appropriation, the Department, in
cooperation with the University of Illinois Extension, shall
contract with a non-profit disability service provider or other
entity that assists disabled farmers, to establish and
administer the Illinois AgrAbility Program in order to assist
individuals who are engaged in farming or an
agriculture-related activity and who have been affected by
    (b) Services provided by the Illinois AgrAbility Program
shall include, but are not limited to, the following:
        (1) A toll-free information and referral hotline.
        (2) The establishment of networks with local
    agricultural and rehabilitation professionals.
        (3) The coordination of community resources.
        (4) The establishment of networks with local
    agricultural and health care professionals to help
    identify individuals who may be eligible for assistance and
    to help identify the best method of providing that
        (5) The provision of information on and assistance
    regarding equipment modification.
        (6) Job restructuring.
        (7) The provision of information on and assistance
    regarding the development of alternative jobs.
    In order to provide these services, the Illinois AgrAbility
Program shall cooperate and share resources, facilities, and
employees with AgrAbility Unlimited, the University of
Illinois Extension, and the Office of Rehabilitation Services
of the Department of Human Services.
    The costs of the program, including any related
administrative expenses from the Department, may be paid from
any funds specifically appropriated or otherwise available to
the Department for that purpose. The Department may pay the
costs of the Illinois AgrAbility program by making grants to
the operating entity, by making grants directly to service
providers, by paying reimbursements for services provided, or
in any other appropriate manner.
    (c) The Department has the power to enter into any
agreements that are necessary and appropriate for the
establishment, operation, and funding of the Illinois
AgrAbility Program. The Department may adopt any rules that it
determines necessary for the establishment, operation, and
funding of the Illinois AgrAbility Program.
    Section 20. Eligibility. To be eligible to receive
assistance under this Act, an individual must meet all of the
        (1) Be a resident of Illinois.
        (2) Derive at least a portion of his or her income from
    production agriculture.
        (3) Be affected by a disability.
        (4) Meet any additional eligibility requirements set
    forth by the Department, in conjunction with the University
    of Illinois Extension.
    Section 25. The Illinois AgrAbility Fund.
    (a) The Illinois AgrAbility Fund is created as a special
appropriated fund within the State treasury. The Director shall
also accept and deposit into the Fund all gifts, grants,
transfers, and other amounts from any legal source, public or
private, that are designated for deposit into the Fund. All
interest earned on moneys in the Fund shall be deposited into
the Fund.
    (b) Subject to appropriation and as directed by the
Director, moneys in the Illinois AgrAbility Fund may be
expended for the Illinois AgrAbility Program and for no other
purpose. No more than 15% of the moneys expended in a fiscal
year for the Program may be expended for administrative costs.
    Section 30. Reports. Unless otherwise required by federal
law, the University of Illinois Extension must provide the
Department with a copy of any report or other document that it
provides to the U.S. Department of Agriculture concerning
AgrAbility Unlimited. The non-profit disability service
provider or other entity awarded a contract under Section 15
must annually up-date the University of Illinois Extension and
the Department in writing on the status of the Illinois
AgrAbility Program.
    Section 95. The State Finance Act is amended by adding
Section 5.640 as follows:
    (30 ILCS 105/5.640 new)
    Sec. 5.640. The Illinois AgrAbility Fund.
    Section 99. Effective date. This Act takes effect upon
becoming law.

Effective Date: 7/14/2005