CHICAGO, IL – US Sen. Mark Kirk of Illinois wants Chicago lawmakers to lift restrictions on food trucks to allow them to better prosper. The Senator made a visit on Saturday to the Chicago Food Truck Fest and chatted with truck owners. He’s also pushing a new federal law that he says will help these small-business owners.

Why does Kirk care care? He said food truck issues are ignored. Kirk feels lifting restrictions, such as making licensing easier and allowing trucks to dock without a time limit, would increase jobs and better serve his constituency. He even said he wrote a memo to Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel asking him to work on it.

“I think this is an easy win for

[Emanuel] to lighten up on the police giving out tickets to food trucks,”Kirk said during a Saturday interview. “It means less work for the police, more focus on crime and everything here.”

The Senator compared Chicago’s food truck scene to those in Los Angeles, Washington, D.C., Orlando and Miami, saying Chicago lags behind, as those other markets are more food-truck friendly.

Kirk was quick to say he was careful to get too involved in state and local matters, saying he’s already busy with a bevy issues on the federal level. For example, while he touted food trucks as a way to make Chicago more attractive to tourists, he said he was unaware of the happy hour bill awaiting Gov. Bruce Rauner’s attention. The measure would legalize happy hour drink specials, something that’s been banned since 1989 in Illinois.

As for Kirk’s bill in Washington, it would require federal agencies to regularly reviews regulations placed on small businesses — such as food trucks — and evaluate to fiscal impact and need for the rule. The bill was introduced in March.

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