Pritzker calls on legislators to behave on the vitality invoice | Authorities and politics
SPRINGFIELD – With talks between worker and environmental groups at a dead end and with time ticking for the impending closure of two nuclear power plants in Illinois, Governor JB Pritzker this week urged lawmakers to swiftly take up the “compromise package” he proposed in June.
“The decision is not left to the interest groups. This is a decision made by the legislature and the governor, ”said Pritzker on Wednesday during an independent press conference. “And here we are. This bill was drawn up after long negotiations over many, many months. And we now have a law that is ready and has to be called into the legislature and voted on.”
The bill that Pritzker is pushing would get Illinois on the road to 100% emission-free power generation by 2050. It includes nearly $ 700 million in subsidies over five years to keep Exelon’s nuclear power plant fleet running, incentives to develop more wind and solar power generation, and a scheduled phasing out of most coal-fired plants by 2035 and natural gas plants by 2045.
Exelon’s Byron Generating Station is pictured in Ogle County. The company has announced that it will close Byron and one other plant by the end of the year without further state aid.
Randy Stukenberg, Rockford Register star
As part of a compromise, Pritzker also suggested keeping the City Water Light and Power facility in Springfield and Metro East’s Prairie State Energy Campus open until 2045, provided they could find a way to capture at least 90% of their carbon emissions .
People also read …
That legislation stalled during the spring session, in part because some lawmakers did not want to be portrayed as doing Exelon and its scandal-ridden subsidiary Commonwealth Edison a favor. But there has also been significant disagreement between workers and environmental groups over phasing out fossil fuel plants, particularly two large coal-fired power plants in Springfield and the Metro East near St. Louis.
Meanwhile, Exelon has announced that it will close its Byron power plant in September and the Dresden power plant by November because they are too unprofitable to stay online. Together these plants employ around 1,500 workers.
The company made similar announcements in 2016 just before lawmakers passed the Future Energy Jobs Act, which provided financial support for two more Exelon nuclear power plants.
And on July 28, the company filed with the Federal Nuclear Regulatory Commission detailing its long-term plans to clean up the sites and dispose of the radioactive nuclear waste.
Support local journalism
Your membership enables our reporting.
“With no sign of a breakthrough in clean energy legislation in Springfield, we have no choice but to take these final steps in preparation for the decommissioning of the facilities,” said Dave Rhodes, chief nuclear officer of Exelon Generation, in a statement.
The legislature has tried to negotiate a so-called “coordinated bill” in which all parties involved have agreed. But as Senate President Don Harmon, D-Oak Park, said after a one-day special session in June when lawmakers were hoping to reach a deal, the task proved difficult as it worked with two of the Democratic’s key constituencies, union and environmental lobby .
On Monday, August 2, the Illinois Clean Jobs Coalition, made up of multiple environmental groups, and the Labor Party-backed Climate Jobs Illinois Pritzker’s office informed Pritzker’s office that their negotiations had reached an impasse, and the labor groups insisted that power plants for fossil fuels may remain in operation over the long term.
This was alluded to by union leaders at a July 1 press conference at the Statehouse when they joined a number of business groups and announced their opposition to Pritzker’s proposal.
Governor JB Pritzker signed a bill that would make menstrual products available at state colleges and universities and require homeless shelters to store the products if the budget allows. Another would require the state to apply for an exemption to allow the use of certain federal aid funds for the products, provided that the federal government provides such an exemption.
“These plants provide thousands of jobs for local men and women through the extensive maintenance that is performed on them each year,” said Chad Goldschmidt, vice president of the Southwestern Illinois Building Trades Council. “This would make Illinois a net importer of electricity generated and a net exporter of jobs.”
However, neither the environmental coalition nor Pritzker were ready to accept this position.
“CJI’s insistence that all coal and gas-fired power plants stay open forever and pollute the environment is something our communities and climates cannot afford or survive,” ICJC wrote in a letter to Pritzker.
Pritzker responded with a letter to CJI later that day, essentially saying he had negotiated as much as possible and warned that time was running out as state officials needed time to set up a financial support scheme for the Byron and Dresden plants set up before they are forced to close. He also rejected any notion that fossil fuel power plants should remain open indefinitely.
“The decision to draw a line in the sand to prevent possible job losses in 2045 (if fossil fuel power plants were closed) versus a specific job loss in 2021 is a negotiating position that affects both workers and our climate does a disservice, ”wrote Pritzker.
Check out the new Illinois laws that went into effect July 1st
The Democratic-controlled Illinois General Assembly has passed 665 bills this legislature, with the vast majority awaiting the signature of Governor JB Pritzker.
But Pritzker signed 42 bills. A handful of these will go into effect on January 1, 2022, but most of them went into effect immediately after they were signed or will go into effect this Thursday.
Here are some notable new laws that are in effect now or Thursday that Illinois people should know about.
CAPITOL NEWS ILLINOIS
With delays in the redistribution of the US census numbers caused by the pandemic, lawmakers have postponed the 2022 state primaries from March 15 to June 28. Legislation also makes Election Day a national holiday and requires that every county have at least one universal voting center and allow people to be added to a permanent mailing list. (SB825)
Photo by Jose M. Osorio, Chicago Tribune
Vote by email
Some changes in voting for the 2020 general election caused by a pandemic, such as: (House bill 1871)
Legal redistribution of land
Since they are mandated every 10 years, lawmakers approved new county boundaries for the Illinois House and Senate. The maps drawn by the Democrats, using the American Community Survey of the U.S. Census instead of waiting for the 10-year census numbers to arrive later this year, have been challenged in court by Republicans and a few other groups. (HB2777)
Photo by Brian Cassella, Chicago Tribune
Illinois Supreme Court reassignment
The seven-member Illinois Supreme Court district lines were successfully redrawn for the first time since the 1960s. (SB642)
Photo by Capitol News Illinois
No more controversial bill was passed that year than House Bill 3653, also known as the SAFE-T bill, which was passed during the lame duck this January. The provisions on the termination of the cash deposit and the obligation of all police officers to wear body cameras will not come into force until 2023 and 2025 respectively. But from Thursday the police must provide assistance to the injured, intervene in the event of excessive use of force and limit the use of force. It also provides stricter guidelines for decertifying officers and would allow people to file anonymous complaints about police misconduct. (HB3653)
Lenders are now prohibited from charging more than 36% of the annual interest rate on consumer loans. The average rate in Illinois before the law was signed was nearly 300%. (SB1792)
The state budget for fiscal year 2022 includes $ 10 million for a “vaccine lottery”. All Illinois residents vaccinated by July 1 will automatically be entered into the competition. It includes $ 7 million in cash prizes for vaccinated adults ranging from $ 100,000 to $ 1 million and $ 3 million in scholarships for vaccinated teenagers. (SB2800)
Photo by Antonio Perez, Chicago Tribune
COVID-19 emergency shelter
Creates guidelines for distributing more than $ 1 billion to federal stimulus funds for COVID-related housing assistance. Also creates an automatic sealing of evictions during the pandemic. (SB2877)
Victims of personal injury and wrongful death can claim interest from the defendants from the time the lawsuit is brought. There should be incentives to resolve these cases. It was supported by the trial attorneys and rejected by business groups. (SB72)
All Illinois casino applicants are now required to enter into a project employment contract when applying for a new or renewed license. (SB1360)
Compensation for crime victims
Determines that a victim’s criminal history or crime status does not automatically prevent compensation from being made to the victim or the victim’s family. Extends the applicant’s time to provide the requested information from 30 days to 45 days and provides that a final arbitration award will not exceed $ 45,000 (previously $ 27,000) for a crime committed on or after August 7, 2022 may. (HB3295)
Specifies that a contract, record, or signature cannot be denied validity or enforceability just because it is in electronic form or because an electronic record was used in its creation. Specifies that if a law requires it to be in writing, an electronic record will satisfy the law. (SB2176)
Stay up to date on current local and national government and political issues with our newsletter.