Capitol - Your Illinois News Radar » *** UPDATED x2 - NASW wants “bailout” for human services *** More problems for Exelon bill as governor’s office finds “poison pills”
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*** UPDATED x2 - NASW wants “bailout” for human services *** More problems for Exelon bill as governor’s office finds “poison pills”

Thursday, Dec 1, 2016 - Posted by Rich Miller

[Subscriber protection removed because this story is getting out there.]

* As I mentioned at the bottom of the Capitol Fax today, the governor’s folks have found some “hidden surprises” in the Exelon bill. This was provided on background a few minutes ago…

Caucus staff and our staff are finding multiple concerns of items not agreed to and potential poison pills including loose cap language and expansion of prevailing wage.

While the governor agreed to a specific framework, it appears the speaker may be trying to play politics and put the bill in jeopardy.

The administration reserves its [amendatory veto] prerogative if a bill with poison pills for job creators reaches our desk — but it stands by the agreed framework.

*** UPDATE 1 ***   It’s having an impact…

* From the BEST Coalition

Exelon agreed to impose hard rate caps on all customers, but with more than $835 million in spending each year according to Exelon’s House testimony, making the math work was difficult. Pages 21 and 42 of HA4 make clear how they’re gaming schools, hospitals and all commercial and industrial (C&I) customers:

Comparing Apples to Oranges: Using “electric service” as the baseline against which Exelon applies its 1.3% rate cap for commercial and industrial customers including hospitals and schools almost doubles the potential rate increase. “Electric service” includes not just energy but many other energy products. A ZEC, by comparison, is simply priced as a megawatt hour (MWh) of energy. By comparing “electric service” apples to ZEC oranges, Exelon is ensuring far more $$$$ is available than the 1.3% suggests.

    For the 106 largest industrial customers (>10MW), HA4 specifies $59.80/MWh for “electric service” (page 21, lines 18-23), despite $30- 35 being the market price for large C&I customers in IL. Exelon max increase of $0.78/MWh instead of market-based $0.39 - .46/MWh.

    For all other C&I customers like hospitals, schools and retailers, HA4 baseline is $89.00 (page 42, lines 8-14) instead of the market price $35- 40. Exelon max capped increase of $1.16/MWh instead of $0.50/MWh.

*** UPDATE 2 *** From the NASW…

National Association of Social Workers- Illinois Calls For Bailout for Human Services

In light of the fact that it appears the Illinois General Assembly is poised to pass a last minute rate hike bailout for the Exelon Corporation, we are calling on legislators to pass a bailout for the thousands of jobs lost (and that are about to be lost in the human service sector) due to a lack of funding.

We commend the hard work put into the bailout for a corporation who posted a 2.27 billion profit last year, but humbly ask where is the bailout for the human service sector providers who are running up large amounts of debt to cover the state’s commitments?

We applaud the environmental groups who are getting entirely new spending on green initiatives through a ComEd rate increase, but inquire from the general assembly where is the bailout to pay for the spending for contracts that human service providers have already delivered on?

We have lost far more jobs than will be saved by the Exelon bailout, and we are positioned to lose even more in the coming months, however unbelievably it appears the priorities of the general assembly are to the shareholders of a utility company over our homeless, our mentally ill, our child care providers and our students.

The State of Illinois has limited dollars in which to pull from their citizens to service our human service needs before the burden becomes too high. Rather than using those dollars for general fund commitments, the general assembly appears to have chosen to pull some of those funds to save a disproportionate number of jobs and increase a utility company’s bottom line. We would prefer our tax dollars were used to bailout the Illinois social service providers rather then Exelon (via a rate increase).

We are also having a hard time reconciling the justification that a lame duck tax increase (that would finally help fund our human services) should not be done until the newly elected officials are sworn in, however an Exelon bailout in the final days is perfectly fine. Absent a human services bailout bill passing in one day, we request the general assembly follow their same logic and kick the Exelon bailout can to the next general assembly. Which hopefully will be an assembly who will prioritize the jobs of our human service providers with the same urgency the current assembly appears to be placing on bailing out Exelon/ComEd.


  1. - Anon221 - Thursday, Dec 1, 16 @ 9:51 am:

    Providing great cover for distractions from the budget issue. Really telling that no one from Rauner’s office even deigned to attend and testify even though there were many requests to do so from the Chairs. Exelon and ComEd may very well get a taste of how Rauner’s CEO management style actually works.

  2. - RNUG - Thursday, Dec 1, 16 @ 9:57 am:

    So it’s OK for one side to use poison pills … but not the other.

  3. - Nobody Sent - Thursday, Dec 1, 16 @ 9:59 am:

    I wouldn’t be surprised if the hidden increases were all Exelon’s idea.

  4. - Ggeo - Thursday, Dec 1, 16 @ 10:00 am:

    The caps clearly apply to the electric bill someone pays. BEST is saying that the caps should only apply to 1/3 of the bill. That’s just silly.

  5. - Anon221 - Thursday, Dec 1, 16 @ 10:02 am:

    And, just in case you are keeping track, Amend 5 was filed late last night, and there is also an Amend 6 now.

  6. - anon - Thursday, Dec 1, 16 @ 10:26 am:

    It will be interesting to see if Rep. McSweeney and Sen. Radogno vote for this lameduck bailout, even as they rail against lameduck votes on controversial issues.

  7. - anon - Thursday, Dec 1, 16 @ 10:27 am:

    Who exactly is BEST? Why are their numbers or statements viable?

  8. - Team Sleep - Thursday, Dec 1, 16 @ 10:31 am:

    I understand the caps issue. But in this instance it would be nice for the Governor to drop his indignation against prevailing wage and just get the deal done.

  9. - wordslinger - Thursday, Dec 1, 16 @ 10:42 am:

    –We have lost far more jobs than will be saved by the Exelon bailout, and we are positioned to lose even more in the coming months, however unbelievably it appears the priorities of the general assembly are to the shareholders of a utility company over our homeless, our mentally ill, our child care providers and our students.–

    Rich, thanks for running the NASW statement. I am highly confident that you won’t see a sentence of it anywhere else in Illinois media.

    Because, you know, it’s all about that personality conflict between Rauner and Madigan and the “budget impasse.” No need to go any deeper than that.

    So Illinois consumers will get taxed in the form of rate hikes to pad the multi-billion annual profits of Exelon, while the state will continue to renege on contracts and run out of business non-profits that serve citizens in need.

    New day in Illinois, indeed.

  10. - JohnnyPyleDriver - Thursday, Dec 1, 16 @ 11:11 am:

    When IL Sen Democrats posted this: “New amendments remove the “microgrid” language and reduced solar rebate, per industry exec. #SenEnrg”

    are they saying that the new amendments reduce solar rebate, or the new amendment removes the language that reduces the solar rebate? Where would i find clarification on this?

  11. - RNUG - Thursday, Dec 1, 16 @ 11:14 am:

    == Where would i find clarification on this? ==

    Go to the GA web site, pull up the bill, and read the various amendments.

  12. - Anon221 - Thursday, Dec 1, 16 @ 11:29 am:

    JohnnyPyleDriver- One of the main points by the AG’s Office at this morning’s hearing:

    It is wildly complex formula that needs to have a deep drill down, not a rubber stamp of trust. The ZEC (payment to the nuclear plants formula) is solid for 3 years minimum. After that, if times have gotten tougher for those two plants, Exelon can go ahead and opt out and close ‘em down. Forget about the supposed 10-13 year life span of this bill if signed.

    However, if rate increases and caps are not sufficient to cover the costs of each of the ZEC, Energy Efficiency, and Solar Rebate programs, guess which programs can immediately be scaled back. I’ll give you a hint- there’s two of them, and neither starts with a Z. So, WHO is this bill really ultimately for???

  13. - Dome Gnome - Thursday, Dec 1, 16 @ 11:31 am:

    NASW has it right. Just say no to corporate welfare.

  14. - JohnnyPyleDriver - Thursday, Dec 1, 16 @ 12:14 pm:

    ==Go to the GA web site, pull up the bill, and read the various amendments.==

    I tried that, but I’m not seeing anything about solar and i don’t really understand how to discover what language was removed. I’m trying to find the absence of something

  15. - JohnnyPyleDriver - Thursday, Dec 1, 16 @ 12:17 pm:

    Anon221, so does the amendment remove that language or does the amendment set that forth?

  16. - Anon221 - Thursday, Dec 1, 16 @ 12:27 pm:

    JohnnyPyleDriver- Now, I’m not being snide, OK :)
    Which Amendment??? They are up to Amend 7 now, I believe. I’ve been listening to the hearings as much as possible, and that is where I’m getting most of my info. I looked at Amend 5 (I think, it’s really getting confusing following this digital paper trail) last night, and there was a LOT of underlined language. That is generally new language, and most of it have to do with the rates. THIS is why this should NOT be voted on today. There are just too many moving parts. And now, there is Rauner spin (for example on the Illinois Review site) that he will now be the savior of the People of Illinois if he doesn’t sign this bill… Because of the Democrats who inserted the changes.

    The amount of spin to place the blame on the Dems when it was Rauner’s people doing the negotiating is just plumb crazy!

  17. - JohnnyPyleDriver - Thursday, Dec 1, 16 @ 12:49 pm:


    I don’t know which amendment. I guess that’s probably the heart of my question. I don’t know which amendment I’m supposed to comparing language to. Here’s the tweet that sparked my question:

    “New amendments remove the “microgrid” language and reduced solar rebate, per industry exec. #SenEnrg”

    That was sent early this morning so it has to pertain to one of the first 5 or so amendments right?

  18. - Kegger - Thursday, Dec 1, 16 @ 12:57 pm:

    JohnnyPyleDriver, the solar rebate was reduced by 50%, I believe.

    The amendments that they discussed in committee today were amendments 4 and 5 only.

  19. - Anon221 - Thursday, Dec 1, 16 @ 1:02 pm:

    Johnny- It was probably Amend 5, at that point. Could have been in 4, though. Whichever one it was, the reasoning was to lower the overall cost of the bill. ZEC did get lowered, too, throughout this process, but what will be chipped away first will be the renewable language and programs from here on out. All Exelon really wants is the annual subsidy guarantee. The rest if just for compromisin’.

  20. - Anon221 - Thursday, Dec 1, 16 @ 1:15 pm:

    JohnnyPyleDriver- Open Amend 3 as a pdf, then do a search for microgrid. Do the same for Amend 4. It looks like it was taken out of Amend 3. I didn’t find anything on microgrids in 5 at all.

  21. - JohnnyPyleDriver - Thursday, Dec 1, 16 @ 1:29 pm:

    I was actually more interested in the solar stuff, and boy are there a lot of solar references. I’m starting to go through it now. Just thought I’d ask if somebody knew for sure what was changed.

  22. - JohnnyPyleDriver - Thursday, Dec 1, 16 @ 1:36 pm:

    I’m seeing no reference to solar in Amendment 5. Lots of solar references in Amendment 4, but none appear related to the size of the rebate

  23. - Anon221 - Thursday, Dec 1, 16 @ 1:54 pm:

    JohnnyPyleDriver- Look at Amend 3. There’s a lot of rebate language there that appears to have been removed in Amend 4. No actual rebate amount, just a lot of language that the Commission will have to establish guidelines, et al.

  24. - Ggeo - Thursday, Dec 1, 16 @ 2:04 pm:

    Toward end of amendment 4, rebate was changed from 500 to 250

  25. - JohnnyPyleDriver - Thursday, Dec 1, 16 @ 2:25 pm:

    There it is! How’d you know where to look Ggeo?

    So, for a small 5 kw home solar system, the rebate goes from $2,500 to $1,250.

    That sucks, but that’s more than they’re getting now. Looks like they can still also sell their Renewable Energy Credits, so that’s cool

  26. - Anon221 - Thursday, Dec 1, 16 @ 2:56 pm:

    See 1 pm Crain’s update. Dynegy is NOT happy…
    “(Dynegy CEO Robert) Flexon said in a follow-up interview that Dynegy will spend to defeat any downstate lawmakers who vote for the legislation hiking rates statewide to bail out the two money-losing nukes Exelon has slated for closure.
    If the bill becomes law, the company also will sue to overturn it on grounds it interferes with federal control of wholesale power markets. New York State’s program to subsidize Exelon-owned nuclear plants in that state already is the subject of such a lawsuit, and Dynegy is one of the plaintiffs. “I think you can look to New York to see what we’ll do next,” he said, referring to the lawsuit.”

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