SPRINGFIELD – As negotiations continue on a comprehensive clean energy bill during the final days of legislative session, nearly 50 legislators issued a resolute letter to leadership today, making it clear that the days of utility companies dictating public policy were over.
Governor Pritzker, legislators, and community stakeholders are currently working toward a plan to hold utilities to the highest ethical standards, launch an historic effort to replace fossil fuels with clean energy and provide a just transition for communities historically dependent on coal, and create equitable jobs in Illinois’ communities of color.
The legislators’ terms were simple and clear: “We will not support a bill which is simply a handout for utilities and does not prioritize climate and equity,” they stated.
The letter was co-signed by Clean Energy Jobs Act (CEJA) chief sponsors Rep. Ann Williams and Sen. Cristina Castro, as well as Rep. Kam Buckner and Sen. Celina Villanueva, chief sponsors of Governor Pritzker’s Consumers and Climate First Act. These four legislators are part of the larger working group negotiating a clean energy package for passage this spring session.
Additional signatories include members of the Illinois Legislative Black Caucus and Latino Caucus, and lawmakers from across the state.
Full text of the letter is as follows:
To: Senate President Harmon and Speaker Welch
From: Illinois Legislative Green Caucus
Date: May 26, 2021
As we approach the end of the session and conversations around an energy package continue in earnest, it is critical we pass a strong and comprehensive climate bill built on a foundation of equity.
For too long, utilities have dictated energy policy in Illinois. It is imperative that this time around, any energy package is driven by climate, communities and consumers.
The final energy bill must:
- Eliminate carbon emissions from the electric sector by a date certain and prioritize closures in environmental justice communities.
- Ensure equity opportunities across all components of the bill, from workforce diversity to contractor equity to just transition.
We will not support a bill which is simply a handout for utilities and does not prioritize climate and equity – we must be forward thinking and lead with these issues. Our constituents and communities will support nothing less.
Representative Ann Williams
Representative Anne Stava-Murray
Representative Anna Moeller
Representative Barbara Hernandez
Representative Bob Morgan
Representative Carol Ammons
Representative Daniel Didech
Representative Dagmara ‘Dee’ Avelar
Representative Delia Ramirez
Representative Denyse Stoneback
Representative Edgar Gonzales
Representative Jaime Andrade, Jr
Representative Jennifer Gong-Gershowitz
Representative Jonathan Carroll
Representative Joyce Mason
Representative Justin Slaughter
Representative Lakesia Collins
Representative Lamont Robinson
Representative Lindsey LaPointe
Representative Lisa Hernandez
Representative Kam Buckner
Representative Mark Walker
Representative Margaret Croke
Representative Michelle Mussman
Representative Nick Smith
Representative Rita Mayfield
Representative Robyn Gabel
Representative Sam Yingling
Representative Sonya Harper
Representative Suzanne Ness
Representative Terra Costa Howard
Representative Theresa Mah
Representative Will Guzzardi
Senator Ann Gillespie
Senator Laura Fine
Senator Laura Ellman
Senator Celina Villanueva
Senator Cristina Castro
Senator Cristina Pacione-Zayas
Senator David Koehler
Senator Jaqueline Collins
Senator Julie Morrison
Senator Melinda Bush
Senator Mike Simmons
Senator Robert Peters
Senator Robert Martwick
Senator Sara Feigenholtz