PEORIA — Peoria's Ag Lab is off the list of facilities proposed for closure in President Donald Trump's latest budget.
The National Center for Agricultural Utilization Research had been among facilities that Trump had proposed closing in his first two years of spending plans submitted to Congress. But local lawmakers and advocates successfully worked each year to restore funding to the facility that employs around 200 people, many with advanced degrees.
The budget proposed by Trump earlier this month does not recommend closing the facility.
Both U.S. Reps. Cheri Bustos and Darin LaHood cheered the change.
Bustos, D-Moline, called it "a victory for Peoria and for bipartisan cooperation in Congress." She pledged to continue working with local leaders, LaHood and other members of Congress "to maintain funding for the facility and their groundbreaking research projects."
LaHood seconded that commitment to cooperation.
"The innovative work being done at the Ag Lab is second to none and I am pleased that the president recognizes the impact the lab has, not only on central Illinois, but on our agricultural economy in the Midwest," he said.
Lawmakers joined with colleagues from most of Illinois to oppose the proposed closure of the Ag Lab in a letter to Trump's administration. They also highlighted work over the last two years that's done at the facility. Both U.S. Sens. Dick Durbin and Tammy Duckworth have both also lent their voices in support of keeping the facility open.