Senator Bill Brady, Republican candidate for Governor, said today he will promote Illinois agriculture as the state’s next Governor and work to ease state policies and regulations that put Illinois farmers and agri-businesses at a competitive disadvantage with neighboring states.
“Agriculture is the largest industry in Illinois, accounting for about 25 percent of the state’s economic activity,” Brady said. “My administration will make sure that Illinois agriculture does not lose any more ground to other farm states. I want to see the anti-agricultural and anti-business policies of the Democrat administrations in Springfield turned around so that Illinois agriculture grows and thrives along with our rural communities.”
The only Downstate candidate for Governor, Brady unveiled his agricultural policy during a visit to Progressive Farm Products Inc. in Hudson.
Brady said he supports:
- Eliminating the state estate tax penalty that puts family farms at risk and eliminating the state sales tax on gasoline that unnecessarily costs Illinois families and businesses.
- Reducing bureaucratic regulations, red tape and inefficiency that delay investments in agricultural-related business start-ups, such as ethanol plants. He said approval of necessary state permits has taken more than a year in instances, where the permitting process in other states is accomplished in 150 days or less.
- Rebuilding a professional Illinois Department of Agriculture, including prioritizing and restoring program funding, which has been cut by as much as 70 percent.
- Reducing anti-business taxes and fees to encourage greater business investment in Illinois and create new private sector jobs.
“Unlike other companies, farmers cannot move their farms across the border to Indiana or Iowa to survive,” said Brady. “They are faced with either suffering the high costs of living and doing business in Illinois or selling their farms.”
“I will work with the agriculture community to promote Illinois agriculture and Illinois-made agricultural products, whether it is large farm equipment or home-grown honey,” he said. “We have a rich agricultural heritage and the potential for an even richer agricultural future.”
Brady, of Bloomington, is the only candidate for Governor with both legislative and business experience.
He was joined at the announcement today by members of Farmers for Brady.
Former Congressman Tom Ewing of Pontiac is the honorary chairman of the advisory board. Chairmen are William J. Graff, a farmer from Logan County and former state executive director of the Illinois Farm Service Agency USDA, and George W. Obernagel III, a partner in a multi-state family farm operation from Monroe County and a retired executive and farm manager with banks in Belleville.