Justice as clean energy, water, and air
Fight Against Taxpayer-funded Coal Bailouts – Say NO to HB4285/SB2250
Illinois should prioritize clean energy and the success of the Future Energy Jobs Act. Legislators should oppose an effort by Dynegy to raise rates on families and small businesses in Central and Southern Illinois which would pay to keep these dirty coal-fired power plants open. These bills would cause continued pollution and health impacts for frontline communities.
Providing Clean Water for All – HB5044 (Unes) /SB3080 (Steans)
It is estimated that ¼ of all lead service lines in the country are are found here in Illinois. The threat of lead in drinking water is significant, and disproportionately impacts children. Yet as Flint Michigan highlighted, our water infrastructure to protect against these threats is largely decaying. Communities across illinois must take steps to account for these lines and plan for their replacement. This bill would require municipalities and private water utilities to replace all lead service lines in 10 years, with a focus on high priority areas and sound water infrastructure practices. In addition, this bill helps reduce the long-term costs of providing water service, by requiring pro-active maintenance, repair, and replacement of system components like leaking pipes that are costing consumers substantial money throughout Illinois. This bill also establishes protections for low income water ratepayers.
Standing for Justice – HB5119/ SB3005
Through an appellate court decision in 2010, Illinois residents lost the ability to review permits issued by the state in court. Neighbors to polluting properties with questionable permits are unable to ask the court to review agency decisions. This bill amends the Illinois Administrative Review Act with regard to certain environmental permits to give impacted citizens standing to have their day in court to protect their health, property and other interests.
Voter Access and Education in Illinois Jails
HB 4469 turns Cook County Jail into a temporary polling location. It also encourages smaller jails across the state to establish an absentee ballot distribution and collection process. HB4469 ensures voter reg forms are available at all Department of Correction facilities and that a “know your voting rights” pamphlet is given to everyone released as part of a re-entry process. Folks who are released will also receive a voter registration form to ensure they are added back to the voter rolls.
Click here for information and a schedule for this year’s April 26, 2018 Environmental Justice Advocacy Day in Springfield, hosted by Illinois Environmental Council, Illinois Chapter of the Sierra Club, and Faith-in-Place.