Friday, April 28th was an important deadline for the Illinois House and Senate. Third reading deadline is the last day in a session by when a bill may be called for a vote in its first chamber. Bills not called for a vote by the end of the day are unlikely to move forward.

Below, you can find status updates on many of the bills IEC and our affiliates are focusing on this session:

Energy

PACE financing (HB2831): This important bill to allow local governments to establish a property assessed clean energy (PACE) program to offer low-cost loans for energy efficiency and renewable energy improvements on commercial properties passed with 73 votes in the Illinois House.


Transportation

Anti-electric vehicle bills fail (HB661 and HB662): These bills would increase fees for electric vehicles by 1655%. Similar bills have been introduced in many other states and failed as part of an effort to undermine the growth of this clean, efficient technology. Fortunately, these bills failed to receive enough votes to pass out of committee.

Transportation Benefit Program (HB2802): This bill is sponsored by Theresa Mah and passed out of the Illinois House with 62 yes votes. This bill will require employers with over 25 employees to offer access to the federal transit benefit program which allows an employee to use pre-tax dollars in an account to pay for public transit.


Conservation

Land conservation stewardship grants (SB1029): Moved unanimously out of Senate Environment and will be heard for a vote next week. This is a critical bill that will provide grants for land trusts to care for Illinois Nature Preserve Commission Property.

Location based video game act (HB2459): Unfortunately failed in committee due to pressure from video game developer, Niantic. This bill would have protected conservation areas from any mobile games that instructed users to enter into ecologically sensitive areas by allowing the owner of the property to request removal of that instruction.


Local Food

Standardizing rules for farmers markets (SB1469/HB2820): Passed in each chamber.

Homemade Food Industry (HB3063): Will help grow the homemade food industry by removing onerous provisions. Passed the Illinois House.

Allows for Growing Industrial Hemp (SB1294): An amendment was added that should remove any opposition and move the bill forward.

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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.