[Bumped up to Wednesday for visibility]
* After strong hope for a deal on the climate/energy bill earlier today, the governor and the House Speaker are not going along with the proposal pushed by the Senate Democrats late this afternoon and heard in committee.
At this moment (and things can and do change), it appears that the House will vote on the newly revised remap plan, take up veto messages and then adjourn. It’s still “to be determined” when the chamber will return.
Speaker Welch said yet again this week that he wouldn’t move forward with a bill if all the stakeholders were not in agreement, and they’re not, so that’s that for now.
…Adding… The House has passed the remap bill with 73 Democratic votes.
* Leader Durkin…
Illinois House Republican Leader Jim Durkin (R-Western Springs) released the following statement on the Illinois Democrats’ passage of partisan maps today:
“Today’s vote confirms that the Illinois Democrats have no interest in honest government. Contrary to their campaign promises, the House Democrats passed a legislative map that lacks any transparency or public input. After lying to taxpayers once, the Governor now has the opportunity to live up to his campaign promises and veto this politician-drawn map.”
*** UPDATE 1 *** Opposition from House Republicans on a motion to accept the governor’s amendatory veto of the ethics bill caused the sponsor to pull the bill from the record. The Democrats don’t have enough members present to accept the AV (71 votes) tonight. They’ll take it up when they return to town.
*** UPDATE 2 *** The Democrats put the motion back up on the board and it failed with just 59 votes. It’s a renewable motion, however.
*** UPDATE 3 *** The Senate has decided to add the climate/energy bill language to a Senate bill and send it over to the House tonight. Doing it that way means the House can amend the bill as well. The ball will soon be in the House’s court, in other words.
*** UPDATE 4 *** Since so many House Democrats cleared out before the ethics motion roll call, it’s pretty safe to assume that there will be no session tomorrow.
…Adding… I’m told SB18 is the new energy bill vehicle.
*** UPDATE 5 *** The Senate approved the climate/energy bill with 39 votes. Its fate in the House is certain: It’s gonna be significantly changed before it’s sent back to the Senate for concurrence. Senate President Harmon said he believes the governor and House Speaker “can get this done in a matter of days.”
*** UPDATE 6 *** Pritzker administration…
The Governor’s Office looks forward to working with members of the House to finalize an energy package that puts consumers and climate first. The Governor’s Office is in discussions with stakeholders to ensure that Prairie State and CWLP’s closure in 2045 includes real interim emissions reductions consistent with previous bill drafts, and is committed to working with the General Assembly to address some drafting errors in the Senate bill that the Governor raised during talks today because they could have unintended legal consequences.
Provisions to be reworked
1. The Senate draft requires project labor agreements (i.e. you have to use union labor) on all utility scale projects with public utility REC contracts and there are several places where the bill requires a PLA to even be a regulated entity that gets some benefit from the state (see, e.g. p. 271: you can’t be a high voltage direct current transmission facility unless you have entered into a PLA; p. 368-369: renewable resources are only “deemed generated in Illinois….if the high voltage transmission line was (i) constructed with a project labor agreement…” This is likely preempted by federal law, and is not the only provision with similar issues. If a court finds a provision of the bill unconstitutional, it could delay or prevent every piece of the bill from taking effect: including the critical funding for wind and solar and the right sized subsidy for the Byron and Dresden nuclear plants. The Governor’s office recommended that problematic provisions be removed and the Senate refused.
2. The bill does not update the rollover solar language, despite the fact that refunds began going back to ratepayers last week (on 8/26).
3. Provisions relating to State hiring of displaced energy workers (Page 128, line 10). These interfere with all state hiring practices, including Shakman-related compliance. The Governor’s Office and the Clean Jobs Coalition previously agreed to remove this provision.
4. Remove references and language for several bills that are now law: amendments to the High Impact Business Program, HB 165, which created the Prairie Research Institute carbon capture advisory group, and SB 265, which made critical changes to the Energy Assistance Act. Keeping this language could create conflicts with already enacted law.
Provisions that should be added
1. Alternative Fuels Act rewrite to use existing funds to create a $4,000 rebate for consumers who purchase an electric vehicle.
2. The bill removes the elimination of customer deposit requirements for low-income utility residential customers, a key priority for the Governor’s Office to ensure low income consumers are protected.
* Press release…
Following the Senate’s passage of a landmark piece of legislation that will cement Illinois’ status as a leader in the clean energy sector and save thousands of jobs, State Senator Michael E. Hastings (D-Frankfort) released the following statement:
“After years of difficult negotiations, a broad coalition of stakeholders came to a bipartisan agreement that will define the future of clean energy in Illinois. The Illinois Senate, and the Senate Energy and Public Utilities Committee, refuse to allow ratepayers to foot the bill for a transition to a cleaner energy future that did not include our valued nuclear fleet. We traveled the state, conducted thorough hearings and made clear in negotiations that good-paying jobs and our environment must be preserved at all costs. This starts with our nuclear fleet, the most precious natural resource the state of Illinois can offer.
“We came together to win a must win battle to not only save jobs and generate clean energy, but to create new ethical standards for utility companies. The result of this agreement is the preservation of 28,000 direct and indirect jobs and $149 million in local economic impact, maintaining our dominance in the energy generation market space, and allowing us to reach our renewable goals. Greed has run rampant in Illinois for far too long, forcing many to pay the price for the actions of a greedy few. Under this legislation, those who cast a dark cloud over our state’s government will be held to the highest ethical standards.”
…Adding… Press release…
Path to 100 Coalition Thanks Illinois Senate, Urges Quick Passage of Omnibus Energy Legislation
We thank the Illinois Senate for passing SB18, the strongest clean energy, pro-climate legislation in the country. The renewable energy provisions in this legislation would reverse the job losses happening now, and they would make the state the national leader in growing equitable clean energy jobs and fighting climate change. SB18’s bipartisan support reflects the widespread support for strong clean energy policy in Illinois.
We urge Governor Pritzker and Speaker Welch to act quickly to resolve any outstanding issues while preserving the critical renewable energy policies that all parties agreed to after years of negotiations.
Until this legislation becomes law the Illinois renewable energy program will remain broken. Our industry is losing jobs daily and our state is falling further behind other midwestern states in developing the clean energy sector. Rooftop solar installations in Illinois have fallen by more than 90% since last year, and more than 6,000 solar projects remain waitlisted and will not be built without the policies in SB18. For the thousands of families supported by renewable energy jobs in Illinois, the urgency remains very real.
Speaker Welch and the Illinois House have an opportunity to deliver an energy bill that will make Illinois a model for a just transition to a clean energy economy. But to seize this opportunity, the House must act soon.