IEC Legislative Update

Everything you need to know about committee deadline week

With the March Primary Election behind us, legislative proposals are starting to move through committee.  Unfortunately, proposals only have until March 28 to get out of committee and there is so much that needs to get done this week. Bills that don’t get out of committee generally need a deadline extension or they will be unable to move forward, so this deadline is very important.  Here are a few things that happened last week during committees.

Microbeads ban (SB2727 – Steans/Cassidy) – Legislation to ban plastic microbeads from personal care products was introduced last week in the Illinois House and Senate.  These microbeads don’t biodegrade and are small enough to get through drinking water treatment filters.  They absorb toxins and aquatic wildlife consume them.  Plastic microbeads have been found in quantities in Great Lakes sediment.  SB2727 moved out of Senate committee, but will need to go back to committee with an amendment. Thanks to Senator Heather Steans and Representative Kelly Cassidy for their introduction of this bill.

 
Coal Tar ban (HB4599 – Fine/ Tom Cullerton)– Expert testimony was heard on both sides concerning the coal tar ban in House Environment Committee.  Representatives from DuPage and McHenry County brought their expertise to testify in support of the ban. This bill had many questions from committee members and will be brought for a vote at a later time, in order to answer committee questions.
 
Also in House Environment Committee, legislation to streamline reporting for the electronic waste bill (HB4227 – Sente) and legislation to expand the definition of aquatic life (HB5648 – Mussman) moved forward.

 
Ending the coal education for kids program (HB5660 – Conroy) – Legislation to remove funding for the DCEO coal education for kids program moved through House Energy committee this week on a vote of 9-6.  Lan Richart of Eco-Justice Collaborative and Terri Treacy of Sierra Club testified in committee on this bill along with the Illinois Coal Association, which opposes the bill.  This legislation will be very difficult to move forward.  Read more and take action here, ask your friends to take action, and join us on April 3 during lobby day to promote this bill.  Read an article on the education program.
 
 
Farmers Market HB5657 (Tryon/Koehler) is a bill that supports better statewide rules for farmers markets.   This bill moved out of committee, but an amendment will need to be added before it can be heard on the floor.  Legislation to support food cooperatives (SB3438) also moved out of committee. Take action here.

 
This week, we will be looking to get the coal tar ban bill and the petroleum coke and coal dust regulation bill out of committee.  In addition, legislation to protect cougars, bears, and wolves is expected to be heard in the Senate Agriculture Committee.
 
 
Finally, the Senate Energy Committee may hear bills on fracking, including IEC supported legislation that will ban fracking on public lands (SB3424) and legislation that will allocate some of the fracking severance tax to fracking regulation, land remediation, and renewable energy. (SB3181)  Senate Energy may also heard a resolution that we oppose that deals with climate change – SR912.
 
On third reading, the House may also be considering a bill that would allow bobcat hunting (take action) which we oppose and a bill to study urban flooding (SB2966) which we support.
 
Watch our Facebook and Twitter this week to find out the progress on all of this legislation.

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