The legislature adjourned yesterday, ending regular session.  Without a budget, the legislature is expected to return over the summer.  Some of the bills listed below are expected to receive a vote this summer.

This week several important initiatives were heard on the House and Senate floor.  On Tuesday, we asked you to take action to oppose a bill that would have rolled back groundwater protections from quarry landfills. This bill failed by only one vote so we know that your action made a difference – click here to see how your senator voted.

Additionally, the senate resolution calling for the protection of the Renewable Energy Resource Fund passed the Senate, the Natural Areas Stewardship Act passed the Senate, Electronic Waste Recycling Reform passed the House, and a bill to minimize bobcat hunting locations passed both chambers.  Read more about these each of these initiatives below.

The following is a summary of the most important environmental bills that moved forward this session. These bills passed both chambers, unless otherwise noted.

Energy

  • Environmental Justice Agenda – HR234/SR353: A resolution asking the General Assembly not to sweep the Renewable Energy Resource Fund passed the Senate, but was not yet called in the House.
  • PACE financing – HB2831: This financing bill for local governments will be a new tool for renewable energy and energy efficiency financing.
  • Wind Energy Authorization – SB71: Removed an unintentional impediment to wind energy development included in the Future Energy Jobs Act.
  • Lead Window Replacement
  • Lead-painted Window Replacement – SB1774: Re-establishes the lead-painted window replacement program (CLEAR-Win), which studies show had a very positive impact upon reducing lead levels in children residing in low-income residences, and reduces energy usage through efficient windows.

Conservation

  • Natural Areas Stewardship Act – SB1029: Allows IDNR to create a grant program for land trusts to care for conservation lands.
  • Local Milkweed Regulation – HB685: Prohibits municipalities from listing milkweed as a noxious weed.  This bill has not yet been heard on the Senate floor.
  • Milkweed as State Wildflower – HB2568: Designates milkweed as the state wildflower
  • Trap-neuter-release for Feral Cats – SB641: This bill provides public funding for trap, neuter, release of feral cats.  We have concerns that this bill does not offer protections to wildlife areas.
  • Bobcat Hunting – HB3399: Minimizes the areas where bobcats can be hunted in Illinois and reduces the number of permits.

Recycling

  • Electronic Waste Recycling – SB1417: Reforms e-waste legislation. See our article on this bill here.
  • Cooking Oil Recycling – SB1420: Removes restrictions on nonprofits that collect cooking oil recycling from the public.
  • Food Scrap at Landscape Waste Transfer Stations – SB1456: Allows landscape waste transfer stations to accept food scrap, improving food scrap composting infrastructure.
  • Food Scrap Compost Reporting – HB3132: This compost planning bill did not pass, but led to an agreement with IEPA to better report on food scrap composted at commercial sites.
  • Bring your Own Bag Month – HR39: This resolution designates April as Bring Your Own Bag month.

Local Food

  • Cottage Food Opportunities – HB3063: Created more opportunities for local food entrepreneurs to sell value added food.
  • Industrial Hemp – SB1294: A bill to allow farmers to grow industrial hemp did not pass the Illinois House and discussions will continue over the summer.
  • Farmers Markets – HB2820: Standardizes procedures for farmers market hand washing and refrigeration.  This bill must still be heard on concurrence in the House.

Water

  • Urban Flooding – SB1337: Ensures that all counties have the authority to develop countywide stormwater management plans and adopt ordinances to implement them, protecting water.  This bill must still move through the House.
  • Quarry Landfills – HB2880: This bill would have rolled back protections on quarry landfills and it failed last night with 29 votes.  Thank you to all who took action.
  • Groundwater Monitoring at quarries – HB3056/HB1454: These bills to require groundwater monitoring at quarries were stalled in committee.
  • Nutrient Trading – HB659: This bill allows MWRD in Chicago to participate in a nutrient trading program.

Federal

  • Stop Environmental Rollbacks – HB1438/SB2212: This just introduced bill would require Illinois to keep its environmental protections in place, even if federal government rolls back protections.
  • Condemns Border Wall – HR181: Condemns the border wall proposal, specifically for its challenge to wildlife.
  • Restore Great Lakes Funding – HR268: Urges full funding of Great Lakes Restoration Initiative.

Local Food in the Farm Bill – HR277/SR377: Urges local food funding in the farm bill.

Share →

Partners for Parks and Wildlife

Partners for Parks and Wildlife (PPW) is a grassroots coalition that is dedicated to secure and increase funding for open space and park acquisition, natural area preservation, wildlife habitat protection and recreational opportunities in Illinois.

Learn More About Climate Change

The U.S. EPA’s website on climate change does a great job providing basic scientific information on the topic and good tips on what each of us can do to address the problem.

Earthshare


One of the simplest ways to donate to the IEC is by contributing through EarthShare in your workplace charity campaign.