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Here we go again

Thursday, Jun 10, 2021

* Uh-oh…


Put the unions together with the Republicans and there’s trouble.

* But Greg Hinz recently pointed out an interesting spring trend. Labor wasn’t nearly as successful as it had hoped to be

This year, when a bill was introduced dealing with state tax incentives for in the chemical and oil refining business, an amendment was quickly added requiring that a growing percentage of workers in “high risk” jobs be graduates of an apprenticeship program. Almost all apprenticeship programs are run by unions. The bill passed the Senate and is awaiting final action in the House.

A little later, Rep. Bob Rita, D-Chicago, introduced a bill tweaking the state’s laws on casinos. Included was a clause requiring the Illinois Gaming Board to consider whether license applicants had signed [a labor peace agreement] covering not only technical positions such as building engineers but “gaming” and “hospitality” workers. In other words, pretty much anyone. And exactly what that LPA would require—other than the union’s nod—was left a little vague.

Then came an amendment to an otherwise routine measure tweaking Pritzker’s data-center tax credit program, which the governor says has pulled in $5 billion of investment here. Sponsored by Rep. Mark Walker, D-Arlington Heights, it would require all qualifying data centers—existing and proposed—to have an LPA covering water-management and other engineering jobs within 180 days.

The refining and data center bills went nowhere in the Senate. The gaming bill, Greg reports, was stripped of the LPA provision.

But, again, pair Democratic union allies with Republicans and you’ve probably got enough to stop most anything, at least in the House and especially when bills require a three-fifths vote for passage.

* On the other side of the coin are the activists, and they’re already leery of the legislation. Fox 32

A source close to the negotiations says the deal pays Exelon $600 to $700 million over the next five years for the three nuclear plants being added to the deal. A utility watchdog says that is unfair to electricity consumers.

Abe Scarr of Illinois PIRG urged lawmakers to reject the proposal if it comes to a vote when the House and Senate reconvene next week.

“We have an outside, independent look at their plants and a recommendation, based on evidence, that they don’t need more than $350 million over the next five years. But somehow we’re still giving them potentially twice that much,” he said.

As it has for years, Exelon/ComEd threatens to shut down several of the nuclear power plants. Governor JB Pritzker wants to keep them all online, not least because they generate more than half the Chicago area’s electricity, without sending climate-changing carbon into the atmosphere.

“People are gonna have a stable source of electricity,” Pritzker recently said on Flannery Fired Up. “And they’re gonna know that we’re saving the planet.”

A source close to the talks said Exelon/ComEd initially demanded $1.5 billion. The source said former Governor Bruce Rauner’s subsidy deal for two nukes paid Exelon more than $15 per megawatt hour. The source said Pritzker should be praised because the tentative deal for three additional plants would pay Exelon only one-sixth of that: $2.55 per megawatt hour.

* Also…


* Related…

* A new clean energy bill could bring more jobs to Black Chicago communities and eliminate the use of fossil fuels

- Posted by Rich Miller        

18 Comments »
  1. - Frisco - Thursday, Jun 10, 21 @ 10:21 am:

    I don’t Hinz is aware that the labor language in the gaming bill was contained in a separate bill SB 1360. It was likely pulled out of the gaming bill because people were unsure whether it would pass.


  2. - Ok - Thursday, Jun 10, 21 @ 10:28 am:

    Why would the unions be unhappy if Exelon is keeping the plants open and their members employed? They shouldn’t be worried about the bosses’ profits, bonuses and paydays.

    If no bill gets done next week, those jobs all go bye bye.

    I would say if Exelon is unhappy, and their workers are still employed, you did something right.


  3. - Ok - Thursday, Jun 10, 21 @ 10:32 am:

    Also…. Rich, I believe that Exelon was looking for $560 million/year for 10 years. The Flannery number of $1.5 billion is way too low for their initial demand.


  4. - Candy Dogood - Thursday, Jun 10, 21 @ 10:34 am:

    I think it’s pretty important to dance with the date that brought you to the dance, but that’s also a two way street.

    If labor wants to stray and align themselves with people who have consistently voted against them and have consistently backed efforts to completely erode their right to exist, that’s fine but I think if I were their date, even if we bought our own tickets, I don’t know how I would feel about the next time they asked me to a dance.

    If I were a legislator who has consistently supported labor, workers rights, and human rights in general and found myself being assailed from by my political allies because I refuse to let our state be ransomed by a criminal enterprise that runs some power plants, or I refuse to support an effort to let one of the top 10 CO2 pollution sources in the United States be exempted from a law that is part of a lackluster effort to stop our species from going extinct, I don’t think I would appreciate it very much.

    If they do it by aligning with my political opposition, well, I would appreciate that even less. If they somehow dealt a political defeat to Governor Pritzker, who has been an extraordinary friend to labor, I think my door would be shut.

    If my date doesn’t want to dance with me I would expect them to understand that this will impact our relationship going forward.

    If labor expect the GOP to give them a ride home after the dance, they should spend some time talking to their sisters & brothers in Missouri, Iowa, and Wisconsin.

    This year some of our Democratic legislators have already heard from labor about how important it is to protect cops the “bad apple cops” over the rights of the People of Illinois. I think it would be a mistake for the AFL-CIO to push this issue. The directly impacted unions is understandable, but we’ve already seen solidarity be used to protect the oppressor. The same oppressor that was brought out to beat, harass, and kill labor organizers not very long ago.

    Solidarity isn’t a reason to be ransomed by a billion dollar for profit criminal enterprise and it’s not a reason to threaten our species’ survival. That’s the opposite of solidarity.


  5. - truthteller - Thursday, Jun 10, 21 @ 10:39 am:

    how much profit, dividends, bonuses, stock options has Exelon/ComEd made over last 10-15 years? Just asking why should rate payers continue to subsidized what is a corporation and their monies? Simply tell Exelon/ComEd to sell their plants. Plenty of buyers out there


  6. - SouthSide Chirish - Thursday, Jun 10, 21 @ 11:16 am:

    Will be interesting to see what Labor does (or doesn’t do) when JB’s reelection effort rolls around.


  7. - Senator Clay Davis - Thursday, Jun 10, 21 @ 11:16 am:

    It seems Exelon is trying to extract some last-minute concessions beyond the provisions they already agreed to. With the coal plant issues worked out, they’re squeezing lawmakers for more money in hopes that they’ll capitulate just because they don’t want the deal to fall apart. It’s a total bluff and classic Exelon BS.

    These guys are (literally) criminals and the GA should see this shakedown for what it is.


  8. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, Jun 10, 21 @ 11:20 am:

    === Will be interesting to see what Labor does (or doesn’t do) when JB’s reelection effort rolls around.===

    They will support the governor.

    Rauner type thinking, until it’s eradicated, makes the decision to stay with the governor an easy one.


  9. - Candy Dogood - Thursday, Jun 10, 21 @ 11:44 am:

    ===They will support the governor.===

    Plenty of the rank and file will vote against their own interests, but thankfully that’s not a majority of them.


  10. - Ill n' Noize - Thursday, Jun 10, 21 @ 11:46 am:

    The trades will never be able to diversify their apprenticeship programs when the public schools focus only on a college for all model. There aren’t enough candidates and despite failure rates for minority kids in the public system, the trades are beneath the teachers.


  11. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, Jun 10, 21 @ 11:51 am:

    ===Plenty of the rank and file will vote against their own interests, but thankfully that’s not a majority of them.===

    Rauner got 2 in 5 the first run… Rauner couldn’t get 2 in 5 voters overall to vote for him.

    It’s the trades and those who could and use to identify as Republicans that may be still ripe, but a guy like Bailey, or a Raunerite like Barickman.., you think even rank and file want a Rauner rerun?


  12. - thechampaignlife - Thursday, Jun 10, 21 @ 12:15 pm:

    Reposting my comment from yesterday:

    The Simpsons called it when it comes to Exelon: https://preview.redd.it/xc4mq2j6ya471.jpg?width=640&crop=smart&auto=webp&s=98d0c29b2c2dec796433b67ef8792239d3bd247d


  13. - All this - Thursday, Jun 10, 21 @ 12:16 pm:

    == The trades will never be able to diversify their apprenticeship programs when the public schools focus only on a college for all model.==
    They aren’t doing that.
    You should have entered this in the question yesterday about weirdest conspiracy theories.


  14. - DuPage - Thursday, Jun 10, 21 @ 12:19 pm:

    Sunny and 90 degrees. Exelon and Comed executives favorite type of weather. They light up their cigars, lean back and watch the money roll in.


  15. - EssentialStateEmployeeFromChatham - Thursday, Jun 10, 21 @ 1:02 pm:

    ==Sunny and 90 degrees. Exelon and Comed executives favorite type of weather. They light up their cigars, lean back and watch the money roll in.==

    Same with Ameren and CWLP. Plus the Village of Chatham’s Utility department, among others.


  16. - SKI - Thursday, Jun 10, 21 @ 3:33 pm:

    For all of you “Illinois is an energy exporter” types - most of MISO in the Illinois area is under a Max Generation alert where MISO is asking all units to run as high as possible due to lack of available resources.

    We may on net produce more annually, but system constraints are what threaten reliability. If we have a drop dead date for coal instead of a gradual smart transition, those constraints will get worse and reliability will suffer even more.


  17. - Squints - Thursday, Jun 10, 21 @ 4:44 pm:

    == The trades will never be able to diversify their apprenticeship programs when the public schools focus only on a college for all model.==
    == They aren’t doing that.
    You should have entered this in the question yesterday about weirdest conspiracy theories.==

    Maybe take a look at trade union leadership in the state. If white men over 50 is diverse, then yes, there is no problem with diversity what so ever.


  18. - Joe - Friday, Jun 11, 21 @ 12:14 am:

    If you had an apartment building up for sale (or publicly announced the sale); would you close the building, kick out paying tenants, and fire all the maintenance workers so the place falls into disrepair?
    Neither will Comical Exelon.
    Those Plant Workers are not likely to loose their jobs. Stock Bonuses, maybe, but not jobs


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