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HCI Legislative News & Resources


HCI members are represented by a committee of board members.  The committee meets once a month via teleconference.  We communicate with our representatives, draft new legislation, and work to get pending legislation approved.  

 Paula Briney   Chatham   
 Bona Heinsohn   Cook County  
 Sheree King   Makanda 
 David Nobbe   Carpentersville
 Jenne Rosegay   Crystal Lake   
 Tony Troyer   Earlville

HCI Member Participation

How can you help?   Contact the HCI office if you'd like to join the committee.   We are hard at work introducing and advocating for bills helpful to horse owners statewide, irrespective of their riding disciplines, so watch this space for details.   We've also opened up a Forum on this website so that you can tell us what new state legislation HCI should sponsor, or what existing state legislation HCI should support.  Just click the Membership Tab, then the Members Only sub-tab to find the Open Discussion Forum.  We're waiting to hear from you!

*  4/21/21:
HCI to participate in Illinois Ag Legislative Day Springfield, Illinois

*   Monthly:
committee teleconference
second Tuesday of the month at 7:30 pm

Priorities in Illinois Legislation

 Bill #  Link to Text    What will the legislation do?  Why is it important to horsemen?
 Tier One  Urgent  HCI Position  Horse owners need to file witness slips!

IL HB 3728


Creates the Local Working Animal Protection Act. Defines "working animal". Provides that the right to utilize working animals for the benefit and welfare of the animals or those they serve is guaranteed. Provides that no ordinance or rule shall be enacted by a unit of local government, including a home rule unit, that terminates, bans, effectively bans, or creates an undue financial hardship relating to the job or use of working animals or animal enterprise in commerce, service, legal hunting, agriculture, husbandry, transportation or ranching, including but not limited to, entertainment, education or exhibition. Provides that the Act does not: alter State law or rules that regulate animal care, public health or public safety; or prevent the establishment of or alteration of ordinance or rules by a unit of local government regarding animal care, public health or public safety. Provides that if a unit of local government has an ordinance or rule that conflicts with the Act, the Act controls. Limits home rule powers.

This could lead to animal rights activists considering an person-controlled behavior of an animal as illegal.

This could affect horses, mules and donkeys used to plow, pull carriages under any circumstances, herd and sort cattle, in search and rescue operations, equine therapy programs, psychotherapy programs, military assistance programs, etc

This could also trickle down to working dogs, such as those used by law enforcement agencies for drug detection, bomb detection and body detection; search and rescue organizations; service and therapy animals and eventually hunting, field trials and dog shows in general.

IL HB 3260
Amends the Humane Care for Animals Act and the Illinois Vehicle Code. Provides that no person shall lead or tether a companion animal from a moving motor vehicle or any device attached thereto.
This would prohibit using a golf cart or utility vehicle to lead horses out to and in from turnout in pastures.

IL HB 3889

IL HB 3969

IL HB 3972

Traveling Animal Act

Traveling Animals

Traveling Animals

Concerned about the specific definition of "Exotic Animal"


if language is not clarified

This  clarification of language surrounding "exotic animals" concerns HCI, as HB-3889 defines "exotic animal" as any animal that is native to a foreign country or of foreign origin or character, is not native to the United States..." and "performance" as "exhibition, public showing, presentation, display, exposition, fair, animal act, circus, ride, trade show, petting zoo, carnival, parade, race or other similar undertaking in which animals are required to perform tricks, give rides or participate as accompaniments for entertainment, amusement or benefit of a live audience"

HCI feels this definition of exotic animal threatens equines as they are not native to the US. We are also concerned that the definition of performance could lead to the eventual prohibition of horses traveling to breed and discipline competitions, shows, rodeos, fairs, parades, races and events such as pony rides.

 Tier Two  HCI position  Horse owners are encouraged to file witness slips  
 IL SB 93  Horse Racing Stallions  Supports  Amends the Illinois Horse Racing Act of 1975. In provisions concerning stallions that qualify for Illinois Standardbred Breeders Fund breeding, removes language requiring the stallion to be owned by a resident of Illinois or a corporation in which all shareholders, directors, officers and incorporators are residents of Illinois. Removes language prohibiting semen from being transported outside of Illinois. Removes language requiring the stallion's owner to be a resident of Illinois the previous 12 months. Removes language requiring that certain agreements for ownership or transfer of interest in a stallion must restrict ownership or transfer of interest to a resident of Illinois. Effective immediately.  Continues to support the business of horse racing in the state of Illinois.
 IL SB 480  Horse Racing Purses  Supports  Amends the Illinois Horse Racing Act of 1975. Provides that the amount an organization licensee racing standardbred horses places in a purse account from gaming pursuant to an organization gaming license shall be held in reserve by the organization gaming licensee to be expended at the direction of the Illinois Standardbred Breeders Fund Advisory Board (rather than paid to the Illinois Standardbred Breeders Fund) and shall solely be used as authorized.  Continues to support the business of horse racing in the state of Illinois
 IL HB 685  IL Racing Board  Supports  Assorted actions regarding racing organizations, bond requirement and funds management.  Continues to support the business of horse racing in the state of Illinois

 IL HB 3780

 Horse Racing ADW Study


Also see SB 1603

 Amends the Illinois Horse Racing Act of 1975. Provides that the Illinois racing Board shall conduct a study analyzing the conduct of advance deposit wagering and submit its findings to the General Assembly no later than November 1, 2021. Provides that the study shall include any trends in advance deposit wagering from inception to present day, the growing percentage of total horse racing bets that are made through advance deposit wagering and the history of distribution of net revenues from advance deposit wagering provided to advance deposit wagering licensees, organization licensees, and horsemen purse accounts. Effective immediately.  Continues to support the business of horse racing in the state of Illinois

 IL HB 1711

Animal Welfare Pet Shops 

Also see IL HB 3646 SB 1709 SB 1710 

 Amends the Animal Welfare Act. Provides that a pet shop operator may offer for sale a dog or cat only if the dog or cat is obtained from an animal control facility or animal shelter. Provides that an animal control facility or animal shelter that supplies dogs or cats to pet shop operators to be offed for sale shall not be a dog breeder or a cat breeder or obtain dogs or cats from a dog breeder, a cat breeder, a person who resells dogs or cats from a breeder or a person who sells dogs or cats at auction in exchange for payment or compensation. Defines the term "offer for sale" and modifies the definitions of "pet shop operator" and "animal shelter". Effective 180 days after becoming law.  
 IL HB 3416 Mass Animal Mortality Event   Supports Amends the Illinois Dead Animal Disposal Act. Changes the name of the Act to the Animal Mortality Act (and amends the Criminal Code of 2012 to make a corresponding change). Provides that the Director of Agriculture may declare a mass animal mortality event. Provides that the Director shall notify the Illinois Emergency Management Agency of the declaration no later than 24 hours following the declaration. Provides that the Department of Agriculture shall create and file with the Illinois Emergency Management Agency a mass animal mortality event plan. Provides that following the Director's declaration of a mass animal mortality event, the Department shall implement the most recent mass animal mortality event plan on file with the Illinois Emergency Management Agency. Adds definitions for "mass animal mortality event", "director", "dead animal", and "operator".  

Federal Legislation

 Bill #  Link to Text & Status  What will the legislation do?  Why is it important to horsemen?
H.R. 845/S. 1110  National Forest System Trails Stewardship Act  allows volunteers to partner with government to maintain and improve trails on Federal lands
UPDATE:  the bill became law (114-245) on 11/28/16
allows us to volunteer to maintain trails to avoid closure for lack of funding, or create new trails



© Horsemen's Council of Illinois       P O Box 13374 Springfield IL 62791              217-689-4224           


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