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Illinois House passes Rep. Mike Tryon's legislation on healthy eating assistance

State Rep. Mike Tryon (R-Crystal Lake)
State Rep. Mike Tryon (R-Crystal Lake)

The Illinois House approved outgoing state Rep. Mike Tryon’s final piece of legislation Wednesday.

Senate Bill 1367 seeks to encourage healthier eating by enabling low-income residents to use their federal SNAP benefits or Illinois LINK cards at farmers markets to buy fresh fruits and vegetables. It is expected to head to Gov. Bruce Rauner’s desk after a concurrence vote.

Tryon, R-Crystal Lake, said in a statement than only 68 of the state’s 500 farmers markets accept LINK cards.

“The provisions of my bill will allow public assistance benefits to be used all over the state at farmers markets, and incentivize lower-income citizens to purchase healthy foods,” Tryon said.

The language of Senate Bill 1367 is almost identical to the House Bill 6027 that lawmakers passed earlier this year. Rauner used his amendatory veto to decrease the state appropriation from $1 million to $500,000, preventing any of it from being spent on administrative costs and making it a pilot program. The bill was shelved in a House committee to advance the Senate version that incorporated the changes Rauner suggested.

Tryon is stepping down after 12 years in office representing what is now the 66th Illinois House District. He will be succeeded by Republican Allen Skillicorn, who won election to succeed him and will be seated with the swearing in of the next General Assembly on Jan. 11.

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