Gov. Bruce Rauner signed a bill into
law Aug. 25 prohibiting restaurants from labeling a menu item as catfish unless
it actually contains catfish.
Senate Bill 312, now Public Act 100-0394, amends the Illinois Food, Drug and
Cosmetic Act to allow for individuals to file complaints against restaurants
mislabeling catfish. Under the new law, which will take effect July 1, 2018, if
the Department of Public Health or a local health department receives two
separate complaints for a restaurant mislabeling catfish, the department will
inspect the restaurant for the validity of the catfish. Failing a catfish
inspection will result in a $250 fine for the first offense, with the fine
amount increasing for subsequent violations.
[to top of second column]
The bill passed the Illinois Senate
55-1 May 18 and then the Illinois House 82-23 May 30. SB 312 is a
reminder of how out of step lawmakers’ priorities were this spring,
when they once again failed to pass a balanced budget, leading to a
special legislative session this summer that brought the state
multibillion-dollar tax hikes.
Instead of focusing on catfish dinners, state lawmakers should spend
more time passing legislation Illinois truly needs to improve its
fiscal health and change its trajectory. Policing restaurants’
seafood menus does not fit those criteria.
Click here to respond to the editor about this article