The Climate and Equitable Jobs Act Passes the House on September 10, 2021!
The Illinois House of Representatives has, by a good margin (83-33), passed SB 2408, the Climate and Equitable Jobs Act! The bill addresses climate, equity, and jobs. It is the most equitable bill in the country and has the support of climate and environmental justice advocates, underserved businesses, the clean energy industry, labor unions, and the Governor’s office. The bill still needs to pass in the Senate , and that vote is set for Monday, September 13. If you live in Illinois, you can contact your state senator here. Ask him or her to vote for SB2408 when it comes to the floor for a vote.
The Illinois Clean Jobs Coalition issued the following statement:
“After years of hard work and community collaboration, the Illinois Clean Jobs Coalition applauds this significant leap forward on climate change and nation-leading equity standard that assures every part of the state shares in the promise of the clean energy economy. This urgent, job-creating plan puts Illinois on a path to a 100% clean energy future while providing a just transition for workers and communities historically dependent on dirty fossil fuels, enacting some of the toughest utility accountability measures in the nation, and creating jobs and wealth in Illinois’ Black and Brown communities, which are often the first to suffer negative consequences of pollution but the last to reap the health and economic benefits of a clean energy future.
“We would like to thank the numerous advocates, stakeholders, legislative champions, and particularly Governor JB Pritzker for their hard work and urge the Senate to bring this urgent legislation across the finish line swiftly.”
What Does this Bill Do?
From the Illinois Clean Jobs Coalition September 9, 2021 Statement
In addition to climate change, Illinois has been facing three crises: an economic and public health crisis, a racial and economic justice crisis, and a crisis of utility corruption. This bill tackles all three by taking bold action on climate change and creating thousands of equitable jobs in every part of the state without raising taxes or giving Exelon the giant bailout they sought. In fact, the legislation holds utilities accountable and establishes the highest ethical standards in state history.
This legislation is an overdue and critical victory for Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) communities and includes the most significant investment in clean energy Illinois has ever seen including more than $80 million annually for job creation in Black and Brown communities, far exceeding the set aside to save good-paying union jobs at carbon-free nuclear plants.
The bill also addresses our urgent climate emergency, setting Illinois on a path to a 100% clean energy future by 2050 by closing coal and fossil gas plants on certain timelines that guarantee climate action, public health protection, and prioritization of environmental justice communities.
The bill ends the automatic, rubber-stamped formula rate hikes that consumers have endured for too long. It also creates a process for a new low-income rate and prohibits late fees for low-income customers.
The bill increases the Illinois Solar for All funding from $10 million/year to $50 million/year to provide free solar and guaranteed savings for low-income families, creates new inclusive finance mechanisms for families to invest in energy updates, and extends electric energy efficiency programs to maximize long-term savings.
For three years, the Illinois Clean Jobs Coalition (ICJC) – a diverse group made up of more than 200 consumer, business, environmental, environmental justice, health care-care, faith-based and youth organizations, and more – has held more than a hundred “Listen. Lead. Share.” conversations to solicit input from communities across Illinois. This grassroots work led to one of the most equitable climate policies in North America and establishes ICJC as a national leader.
If you live in Illinois, contact your senator here. Ask him or her to support 2408 when it comes to the floor for a vote.
Eco-Justice Collaborative is a member of the Illinois Clean Jobs Coalition, made up of more than 200 consumer, business, environmental, environmental justice, health care, faith-based and student organizations.