Former state lawmaker Bob Flider of Mount Zion is the governor’s choice to be director of the Illinois Department of Agriculture, succeeding the retired Tom Jennings. “I have worked in a regulatory environment in the past, have worked as a mayor of a community,” says Flider, “and also as a state representative, representing an area that is largely agricultural; but also an area that is known for its grain processing activity and leadership, with ADM and Tate and Lyle in Decatur. Those are strong constituencies, strong employers, important employers for our state.”
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Flider was part of the last-minute, late-night, lame-duck legislative session in January 2011 which approved a 2 percentage point increase in the state’s personal income tax. Flider had opposed the tax increase during his unsuccessful campaign against now-Rep. Adam Brown (R-Decatur). Flider says he realized the state’s financial problems and urges further reforms and spending cuts, adding Gov. Pat Quinn never spoke to him about his vote. Flider’s appointment needs confirmation from the Illinois Senate, though Flider serves as acting director starting now.