Illinois Governor Rauner has called state legislators into special session to address the state’s budget crisis. The Governor originally endorsed the Senate Republican budget plan that would sweep hundreds of millions of dollars from clean energy funds. Because of emails and calls from residents like you asking their legislators to oppose this sweep, these funds have not yet been taken. But negotiations are not yet finished, and it is important to keep pressure on our elected officials to ensure clean energy funds are not swept.
Tell them to oppose efforts to balance the budget with funds taken from clean energy programs
Last December, legislators with the Governor’s support passed the Future Energy Jobs Act. A critical piece of this law was the designation of approximately $185 million remaining in the state’s Renewable Energy Resources Fund (RERF) to be used for the Illinois Solar for All Program. Legislators committed that the RERF dollars would be used to ensure that new solar development would occur in economically disadvantaged communities and a training pipeline would be set up to provide solar jobs in these areas. The Senate GOP proposal (SB 2217) would have swept every dollar from this program. Incredibly, less than a year after creating the Illinois Solar for All Program, the legislature was planning to take the RERF funds and end the program. While current bills before the house and senate do not affect these funds, negotiations are not yet over. Your voice is making a difference, and it is important to keep the pressure on.
Send an email now, via the Illinois Environmental Council’s Action Alert. Then follow up with a phone call. If you don’t know how to reach your state representative or state senator, click here. Ask your legislators to prevent any sweep of clean energy funds.
Eco-Justice Collaborative is one of many organizations working to leverage funds from the Future Energy Jobs Act and its Illinois Solar for All Program to create new energy jobs downstate. Our initial focus has been in areas where communities are experiencing jobs losses due to coal mining layoffs or coal plant closures.
Pam and Lan Richart, Co-Directors