IEC Legislative Update

Illinois’ 2020 Enviro Legislative Agenda

As the federal government rolls back environmental protections, it is more important than ever to take action at the state level to solve environmental problems. IEC works with our over 90 member affiliates and many supportive lawmakers to introduce a broad environmental legislative agenda each year to advance innovative solutions as well as model policies that are working in other parts of the country.

In fact, we just cleared our first 2020 hurdle — the bill filing deadline — and we are celebrating eight months of research, priority setting, and bill drafting by announcing some of our top legislative initiatives for 2020!

Read on to see the list, ask your lawmakers to sign on to all of them, and help us out by taking action when we alert you to important proposals. You can find all of our active action alerts in the Action Center here on our website.

We have been building an army of clean energy legislative champions over the years, and 2020 is the year we will see major clean energy legislation pass in Illinois! Our efforts will focus on combating the climate crisis by expanding wind and solar and establishing a real plan to get our state to 100% clean energy that is rooted in equity and job creation.

  • Clean Energy Jobs Act HB3624/SB2132 (Williams/Castro) — The Clean Energy Jobs Act is our top priority for 2020. Join us on March 4 for Clean Energy Lobby Day to drive momentum and pass this bill.
  • HB4148 Electric vehicles and homeowner associations (Buckner) — This legislation would break down barriers for electric vehicle charging at condominiums.
  • Solar Bill of Rights — We are working with the Illinois Solar Energy Association to prohibit government and ownership associations from restricting solar development.
    • HB 4068 (Didech)– Solar for condo owners
    • HB 4069 (Didech) — Property Tax support
    • SB3500/HB5104 (Koehler/Didech) — Preventing local barriers
    • HB5105, SB35100 (Steans/Didech) — Right to self generate

Sustainable Agriculture and Food Production

  • Confined Animal Feeding Operations (CAFOs) (Koehler) — The management and disposal of animal waste from CAFOs is largely unregulated in Illinois even though livestock animals produce exponentially more waste than humans. The U.S. EPA blames CAFOs for 20% of all pollution in rivers, lakes and streams.
  • SB 2252 Municipal Kick-Out — Allows municipalities to zone up to 1.5 miles outside their boundaries to prevent CAFOs from being constructed near their residents.
  • SB 2998 Waste Management Plans — Requires all CAFOs, regardless of size, to complete and file a waste management plan with the Department of Agriculture and the IL Environmental Protection Agency.
  • SB 3156 Phosphorus Application Rates — Reduces the amount of manure that can be applied to fields to achieve phosphorous capacity. Currently at 300 lbs an acre; this would reduce to below 100 lbs an acre.

Local Food and Justice Agenda — We are excited to be partnering with Rep. Harper on a suite of bills meant to address local food access throughout the state, especially in areas that are traditionally underserved. We believe that expanding access to healthy foods that are sourced locally, sustainably and equitably is paramount in addressing years of injustice being perpetrated against our most vulnerable communities.

  • HB 4704 Right to garden (Harper/Bennett) — Establish that every resident of Illinois has a right to garden. This is an important local food and justice initiative. 
  • HR 683 / SR 992 Farming as a public service (West/Bennett) — Urges Congress to add farming as a public service to support debt forgiveness for young farmers. 
  • More bills to be announced.
  • HB4381 Protecting pollinators (Villa) — Sets reasonable restrictions on the use of neonicotinoids to protect pollinators. 
  • HB4715 / SB3087 Incidental compost sales (Frese/Tracy) — Allows for the sale of compost generated at incidental levels without the need for a special permit from the IEPA.
  • HB5216 Industrial hemp procurement (Butler) — Provides a preference in state procurement for hemp-based products.

Conservation and Open Space
After years of budget crises, we will be prioritizing appropriations for land stewardship and acquisition.

  • SB3447 Wetlands (Fine) — The federal government is working hard to roll back wetlands protections. We have drafted legislation to give IDNR oversight and funding to protect these important areas.

Every Illinoisan needs clean, affordable drinking water. Unfortunately, that basic need is under threat every single day. So, we are taking the fight for clean water to the legislature again this year.

  • SB2916 Lead Service Line Replacement (Steans/Robinson) — Requires every municipality to have a plan in place for replacement of lead service lines, as well as a robust inventory with prioritization of vulnerable communities, and rate relief through a Low Income Water Assistance Program. 
  • SB3154 PFAS (Ellman) — IEC and Sierra Club plan to introduce legislation that would phase out Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) in firefighting foam and food packaging.  
  • SB3311 Lead testing at parks (Peters) — Protects children from lead exposure and requires testing for lead at parks.
  • SB3462 Nutrient Loss Reduction Strategy fund (Villivalam) — In order to address the state’s difficulties with implementing the Nutrient Loss Reduction Strategy, this legislation would create a fund in statute for the first time dedicated to nutrient loss reduction and provide additional fiscal resources to agencies implementing the strategy. 
  • SJR 60 Protecting communities in floodplains (Koehler) — Encourages sound floodplain management by IDNR, including preserving oversight of levees.


  • SB2954 Coal Tar Disclosure (Fine) — Requires disclosure of coal tar use on all properties in Illinois, disclosure of use on public school/district properties and disclosure of use on all state agency properties.
  • HB4297 Email receipts (Didech) — Requires that all retailers provide an option for only receiving email receipts. 
  • SB2975, HB4605 Quarries (Ellman/Connor) — IEC and ELPC are reintroducing legislation to require groundwater monitoring at clean construction of demolition debris (CCDD) sites.
  • SB3547/ HB4329 Ban on leaded garden hoses (Curran/Costa Howard) — Requires the sale of only lead free garden hoses.

Composting, Recycling, and Waste
This year we will focus on reducing plastic waste at the point of creation with a plastics reduction agenda being announced Tuesday, Feb. 18. We are also working on the following measures:

  • HB4098 Landfill setbacks (Mason) — Increases the setback for new or expanded landfills from 500 ft to 1000 ft. to better protect neighborhoods.
  • HB5534 Bring-Your-Own Container (Cassidy) — Expands the ability of consumers to bring their own containers into retail establishments.
  • HB5203 Share tables (Edly-Allen) — Requires that ISBE provide standard operating procedures for share tables.
  • HB4888 Illinois Drug Take-Back Act (Gong-Gershowitz) — Protects Illinois wildlife, waterways and drinking water by establishing the Illinois Drug Take-back program with funding from pharmaceutical companies.

Share This Post

Subscribe to our Newsletter

Get IEC updates sent directly to your inbox
and stay current on all the environmental news in Illinois.

IEC Legislative Updates

2024 Environmental Legislative Update

Legislators are getting to business this session, and pieces of the Illinois Environmental Legislative Agenda are starting to move through the legislative process.