IEC Legislative Update

2024 Environmental Legislative Update

While both the House and the Senate were in this week, both chambers have until Friday, May 3, to vote bills out of committee. (Unofficially – they may extend the deadline until next week!) Some important pieces of the Illinois Environmental Legislative Agenda continue to move through the legislative process. We had some key wins this week!

ICJC Platform Rollout

IEC teamed up with the Illinois Clean Jobs Coalition (ICJC) to announce a bold and comprehensive legislative platform to accelerate Illinois’ climate, equity, and clean energy goals! The platform is a package of bills that will lower greenhouse gas emissions, create green jobs, and make our communities safer and healthier. It includes the Clean and Reliable Grid Act, the Clean and Equitable Transportation Act, and the Clean and Healthy Buildings Act.

Illinois Environmental Council Executive Director Jen Walling speaks at a news conference in Springfield on Tuesday. [Ben Szalinski/The Daily Line]

Conservation Lobby Day

During Conservation Lobby Day this week, concerned Illinoisans from counties across our state traveled to the State Capitol to speak with their legislators about the importance of restoring wetlands protections, strengthening invasive species protections, incentivizing backyard conservation, and ensuring equitable access to the outdoors.

Large Event Recycling

Sports venues, festivals, etc., tend to host large events where a lot of waste is created rapidly, and a significant portion of what ends up in the trash is either recyclable (cans, glass bottles, etc.) or compostable (certain food waste for example). Rep. Curtis Tarver’s SB2876, which would require large event facilities (with legal occupancies of at least 3,500 people) to participate in recycling and composting, passed out of committee on a vote of 19-8.

Reducing Single-Use Plastics in Illinois Hotels

Rep. Buckner passed SB2960, which would require hotels to use refillable toiletry bottles instead of providing new mini toiletry bottles in guest rooms. This bill passed out of committee on a vote of 19-8.

Reducing Outdoor Lighting

Rep. Terra Costa Howards successfully passed SB3501 with assistance from staff at Adler Planetarium. This bill would require lighting installed on DNR property after January 1, 2025, to meet compliance with International Dark Sky standards, meaning they would have minimal impacts on light pollution. While this does benefit those wishing to clearly see the night sky, it also has benefits for wildlife and plant species, which depend on the night/day cycle to regulate themselves. With Illinois in the Mississippi River Flyway, this is crucially important as multiple bird species fly at night and often use open spaces in Illinois to rest on their journeys.

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IEC Legislative Updates

2024 Environmental Legislative Update

Legislators were back in session again this week to conduct business, and pieces of the Illinois Environmental Legislative Agenda continue to move through the legislative