SPRINGFIELD — Public schools in Illinois might shortly be serving a good deal far more vegan and vegetarian foods, thanks to a monthly bill that cleared the Common Assembly Tuesday.

Home Bill 4089 involves college districts to supply a plant-centered lunch selection that complies with federal nutritional prerequisites to any student who submits a prior request to the district asking for these types of an alternative.

Sen. David Koehler, D-Peoria, the direct Senate sponsor of the monthly bill, reported the proposal was intended to accommodate college students with certain religious, cultural or health fears.

But the monthly bill drew some opposition from Republicans who known as it an unfunded mandate on educational facilities and argued that it could direct to even far more dietary mandates.

Sen. Jason Barickman, R-Bloomington, said educational facilities currently have the authority to offer plant-based mostly foodstuff selections because there is almost nothing in point out law prohibiting it.

“And so if we’re going to embrace the idea of community regulate in allowing for our neighborhood models of government to make their individual decisions, right here lies an instance of the place we can place that to function,” he reported.

Sen. Jil Tracy, R-Quincy, pointed out that previously in the working day, the Senate Instruction Committee held a hearing on Senate Bill 4147 that would demand faculties to offer you halal food choices. That is food deemed permissible underneath Islamic law.

“It can make you ponder, could you then have a Jewish kosher university needed choice, or a single that is distinct to any religious adhering to,” she said. “So it seemed to us, the Republicans in the Education Committee, that perhaps a endeavor drive to examine this and how considerably it fees for a university district to do this, how much of a need there is, need to be explored.”

But Sen. Mattie Hunter, D-Chicago, argued that plant-centered weight loss plans are frequently more healthy for folks and that passage of the monthly bill could assist boost much healthier life.

“It doesn’t make any difference what ethnic team, what your spiritual qualifications is. The actuality of the make a difference is, it’s merely nutritious taking in,” she claimed.

Koehler stated the effects of the invoice may be nominal for the reason that there may well be some districts in which no students question for plant-primarily based option. He also mentioned there is tiny change in the expense of plant-centered food items compared to meat-primarily based foods.

The invoice beforehand passed the Residence on March 4, 96-7. It passed the Senate Tuesday, 42-10, and future will be sent to Gov. J.B. Pritzker for his consideration.