IEC Legislative Update

2024 Environmental Legislative Update

Both the House and the Senate were in and conducting business this week as we move closer to the final weeks of this year’s regular legislative session. Many bills were granted extended deadlines for advancing through the legislative process, and some important pieces of the Illinois Environmental Legislative Agenda continue to move through the legislative process. We had some key wins this week!

Climate Action Lobby Day

This week, the IEC team was joined by a few hundred Illinoisans for our Climate Action Lobby Day! Folks from across our state traveled to the State Capitol to speak with their legislators about the importance of reducing climate emissions, creating green jobs, and making our communities safer and healthier for all.

If you missed it, you can still lend your voice to those who met with the General Assembly this week by sending a note of support to your legislators. Click here to back up this week’s Climate Action Lobby Day Capitol-goers!

Budget and Appropriation

Throughout the legislative session, IEC has been working with legislators to ensure state agencies prioritize environmental protection, conservation, transportation, and equitable climate workforce development. Our team is working to prioritize the restoration of the previous year’s funding levels for soil health work, increase funding for Soil and Water Conservation Districts, and increase the cover crops discount program to fund 500k acres.

Click here to let your legislators know that you support expanding the sustainable agriculture program that funds cover crops to a record 500,000 acres!

This week, our team testified on conservation grant programs and attended hearings on the future of the electric vehicle rebate program funding. The state budget will need to be completed in the next few weeks, and IEC’s team will work to ensure that environmental protection is prioritized.

Climate Change Education

Students and their teachers continue to play an exciting, hands-on role with the General Assembly. While our current educational requirements include instruction on climate change issues, it is essential that we enshrine climate change education in state law and provide teachers with the materials to teach the curriculum effectively. HB4895 would allow the Illinois State Board of Education to fill the gap in professional development material for climate change education while putting climate change education into law. This week, Sen. Adriane Johnson passed HB4895 out of committee.

Home Owners’ Native Landscaping Act

Native plants provide biodiversity, are resistant to some diseases and pests, and require little water. This week, Sen. Karina Villa passed legislation (HB 5296) out of the Senate Judiciary Committee that would stop HOAs from enacting ordinances preventing residents from creating native landscapes on their own properties.

Forest, Wetlands, and Prairies

Sen. Rachel Ventura’s Healthy Forest and Wetlands funding bill had a subject matter hearing in the Senate Appropriations Committee this week. SB2782 would place $5 million in a fund that would be made available to local governments and nonprofits to protect and restore native landscapes. This fund would also allow us to leverage federal funding.

Clean Drinking Water

Recently amended SB 727 creates the Safe Public Drinking Water Act, sets a timeline for adopting federal PFAS standards for drinking water in Illinois, and begins important sampling for 1,4-dioxane. We are looking forward to working with the sponsor, Senator Mike Simmons, to improve Maximum Contaminant Levels for drinking water in the future.

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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