SECOND ANNUAL WOMEN IN BUSINESS CONFERENCE
The Illinois Chamber of Commerce is hosting its second Women in Business conference on March 15th, 2019 in Oak Brook, IL. The event will bring together business leaders from across the State to encourage all attendees to invest in themselves, become courageous leaders, and be a force in their careers.
Our panel topics this year focus on practices to better diversify corporations and understanding why diversity brings more business success; individual communication tactics to send a message of confidence; and learning from proven influencers on the skills that can help you get to where you want to be professionally. These panels will be capped with keynote addresses by inspiring speakers to embolden attendees to blaze their own path. The event will end with a networking and social event.
For more information, the agenda, sponsorship information, and how to register, visit the conference website!
ENVIRONMENTAL AFFAIRS COMMITTEE - YOU'RE INVITED
In the interest of getting our members in front of as many new Directors and Legislators as possible, the EAC and Energy Council have agreed to invite each other's members to their first meetings of the year. Please join the Environmental Affairs Committee on March 5th from 2p-4pm and hear from IEPA Director John Kim. The meeting will also include a legislative update and environmental regulatory discussion.
Details: Illinois Chamber Office - 215 E. Adams St, Springfield
March 5th, 2p-4p
The Energy Council meeting will be held during session in Springfield at the end of March/beginning of April.
Bill introduction deadline was last week - and with that, means the Chamber is tracking more bills than I care to mention. To see the bills the Energy Council is tracking in the energy and environment space, click here. I encourage all members to take a look through this list and please let me know if there is anything we missed or maybe of importance to your organization. I am working through reaching out to members on bills that may be of importance to you. For a list of the Illinois Chamber's legislative initiatives, click her
The Governor's budget address was this Wednesday, so we can expect more activity in Committees now that the Governor has laid out his plans for addressing the budget deficit and achieving a budget for this year. The Governor proposes $1.1 billion in new revenue will come from: sports betting; recreational marijuana; plastic-bag tax; vaping tax; closing corporate tax loopholes; and others. Spending priorities include increases in early childhood and education funding; homeless prevention; support services for seniors; community-based violence prevention programs, and more. OMB has the full budget breakdown here and the Sun-Times captures the day here. To see the Chamber's response to the budget address, watch this short video from Todd providing his initial thoughts.
Before I hop into listing bills that were introduced between last week's newsletter and bill intro deadline last Friday, below is what happened this week and what's scheduled so far for next.
House Public Utilities met on Tuesday. Only activity was moving HB1563 (Crespo) to subcommittee. The bill would require utility lines to be put underground under certain conditions and provide for cost recovery. Last year the bill was assigned to Public Utilities but never called.
House Energy and Environment did not consider any legislation. A subject matter hearing on Sterigenics and ethylene oxide was scheduled that day. As members know, the Illinois EPA issued a Seal Order last week to prevent new sterilization cycles using ethylene oxide. That may have major implications for the medical community. The hearing heard from residents and industry about ethylene oxide, which follows hearing in the fall discussing this same issue. While the hearing was similar to past hearings, despite the new development, the environmental lobbying community indicated they will be seeking legislation to reexamine permits. It is not known what that will look, but was shared at the hearing.
Over in the Senate, Environment and Conservation cancelled its hearing scheduled for Thursday.
Senate Revenue met and moved a number of bills out on an agreed bill list, including SB29 (Bush). The bill would create the Illinois Energy Transition Zone Act. It provides that certain energy enterprises located in Energy Transitions Zones can receive tax incentives for job creation and economic development. Energy Transition Zones are areas of the state that have experienced the closing of a coal plant, coal mine, nuclear facility within ten years of the application date and/or a community that contains a decommissioned nuclear plant and stores nuclear waste onsite. Eligible energy enterprises are solar, wind, water, geothermal, bioenergy, and hydrogen fuel and cells.
Only the House is in next week.
House Public Utilities is scheduled for Tuesday at 2pm. Posted are HB211, 212, 213, and 214, which have been posted for some time and are likely placeholders for something else.
HB876 (Carrol) will require that a utility must provide disclosures requested by a customer concerning information affecting utility owned property or its business. Negotiations are ongoing, and the bill likely won't move until an agreement is reached.
(Morrison) and HB2172 (Morrison) are repeats from last year. HB2171 would require natural gas utilities to demonstrate that existing customers will not subsidize the cost of new facilities beyond what is provided for in rules and in excess of certain payments by customers to approve new construction. Further requires the ICC's order for new construction shall address the economic impact on customers. HB2172 which requires a natural gas utility to submit with its annual filing certain information concerning existing and newly installed pipeline facilities to the ICC
(Burke) would require certain reporting made to the Office of Retail Market Development at the ICC. It is likely a shell bill for something else.
House Energy and Environment meets at 3pm on Tuesday. Posted from last week: HB282 (Gabel) would prohibit certain small drilling wells from classifying as confidential, which Illinois allows to be for two years. The Chamber is opposed.
would require the ICC to report on the decommissioning of nuclear facilities every two years.
HR7 (Flowers) urges the creation of a formal environmental justice agenda that addresses gender inequities and income disparities and reduce recidivism rates while moving toward a green economy. It would also urge prohibiting funding sweeps from the Illinois Solar-for-All program. The resolution is non-binding.
HB61 (Ammons) urges the US to develop a policy so we are not the first to use nuclear weapons
Newly posted: HB2076 (Villa) would ban the use of bisphenol A (BPA) in paper products in business and banking records. It impacts receipts, so anyone that has a business that deals with point of sale receipts would likely be impacted.
(McAuliffe) would change the qualifications for vehicle inspection stations.
(Williams) would prohibit the disposing of lead-acid batteries to a collection or recycling facility unless that facility knowingly accepts them.
On Wednesday, House Labor and Commerce meets and HB249 (Walsh) and HB1562 (Guzzardi) remain posted. HB249 would have the effect of requiring all construction and maintenance work at privately owned petroleum refineries and petrochemical facilities within the state to be exclusively performed by members of certain trade unions. HB1562 requires the written consent of every mineral and land owner before fracking may begin. This is a repeat from last year, where it was moved to the Workforce Reconciliation Subcommittee. We opposed the bill.
New Bills Of Note As of February 15th Deadline
The full list of bills we are tracking is here. Below are bills of note and reduced summaries.
House Bills and Senate Companions
HB2443 - allows a county to ban the sale of coal tar sealants, except in highways, parking lots, etc. The Chamber is opposed.
HB2460 (Davis) and SB2062 (Martinez) Creates the Illinois Sustainable Investing Act that any public agency or governmental unit (such as schools) shall develop and implement sustainable investment policies and incorporate those into new and existing investments. Some of those policies include consideration of corporate governance, leadership factors, social capital costs, and environmental factors such as greenhouse gases.
HB2491 (Walsh) and SB1618 (McGuire) Provides that to the extent allowed by federal law, uncontaminated plastics that meet feedstock specifications for a gasification facility or pyrolysis facility, and that are further processed by a gasification facility or pyrolysis facility and returned to the economic mainstream in the form of crude oil, diesel, gasoline, home heating oil or other fuels, chemicals, waxes, lubricants, chemical feedstocks, diesel and gasoline blendstocks, or other raw materials or intermediate or final products, are considered recycled and are not subject to regulation as waste.
HB2657 (Moeller) and SB1631 (Ellman) Provides that an alternative retail electric supplier and alternative gas supplier shall: make certain information available on its website; send a separate written notice or electronic mail informing the residential customer of the upcoming change in price or other charge; and not automatically renew a contract with a residential customer at a rate higher than the initial term of the contract or automatically change or renew a fixed contract to a variable rate contract. Provides that all marketing materials shall contain the Historical Price to Compare from the immediately preceding 12 months. Establishes additional provisions impacting ARES.
HB2728 (Mah) provides that the IEPA shall consider adverse impacts on environmental justice communities relating to granting a permit or permit renewal before publishing a draft permit for public comment. The bill would codify environmental justice policies that the IEPA considers now and adds requirements beyond current practices.
(Steans) requires DCEO, ICC, IPA, and IEPA to design a broad-based policy approach to decarbonize the electricity sector by 2030.
(Gong-Gershowitz) Provides that unless the action is governed by the procedures or provisions of another statute, a person suffering legal wrong or aggrieved because of a final administrative decision is entitled to judicial review of the final administrative decision to the same extent as a person who is a party, except that a person seeking judicial review is not entitled to relief if there was a previous public hearing at which the person failed to present his or her position. The bill also allows new evidence to be submitted. The bill applies to the Department of Ag, Transportation, Public Health, Natural Resources, and IEPA. This is a repeat from last year,
, offered by Senator Raoul.
(Walsh) is the likely shell bill for further activity on capacity markets and broader energy policy changes that could include additional ZECs.
(Gabel) requires the ICC to open a plan for transportation electrification. The bill requires the plan to include incentives. The ICC held a Notice of Inquiry over the fall to examine its role and plausibility of expanding transportation electrification.
(Aquino) requires an independent study on battery storage and requires certain things to be analyzes, such as cost-savings to customers.
(Davis) would eliminate the exemption set through FEJA for large electricity users (10MW and over) from participating in energy efficiency and demand response programs and charges.
(Cunningham) makes changes to Illinois solar programs. As I reported last week, the bill calls for increasing Illinois' renewable portfolio standard to 40% by 2030, up from 25% by 2025. The bill would include a series of other provisions designed to improve efficiencies to the REC program: improving the interconnection process, removing technical barriers to deployment, enhancing contract certainty, and others.
(Williams) allows counties to establish standards for wind farms regardless if the county has a zoning commission or zoning regulations.
(Thapedi) requires the Secretary of State to maintain a list of domestic and foreign corporations under the Public Utilities Act and other Acts that hold a license, franchise, or other right to do business in the State. Requires the SOS to provide that information to the ICC and the status of those corporations.
(Moeller) requires the ICC to consider when considering a permit for a pipeline, the impact on environmental cost and benefits that occur due to changes in the physical or biogeological environment from pipelines.
(Hastings) extend the formula ratemaking process for electricity rates that is set to sunset in 2022.
(Chapa LaVia) prohibits fracking.
(Diedrich) establishes a coal severance tax at 5% of the gross value of the coal severed from mines in Illinois.
(Diedrich) allows a county board to provide consent or denial in sitting fracking sites.
(Guzzardi) bans fracking.
(Pappas) repeals a credit for coal research that sunset in 2005.
creates a new designation - Green Energy Business - through DCEO that would allow that business to be eligible for certain credits and exemptions, similar to those granted to High Impact Businesses. It does not include the Materials Exemption Credit.
Click here for what's granted to High Impact Businesses
(Yingling) requires a public utility to make a good faith effort to provide notice to a consumer through email or U.S. mail before sending account to a collection agency for non-payment.
(Williams) and SB2132 likely shell bill for the Clean Jobs Coalition proposal.
(Hastings) shell bill for Hazardous Materials Workforce Act.
(Fine) requires compensation to be determined by a jury trial before access is given to land in eminent domain cases for certain industries. This is the same bill introduced by Rep Moeller (
) in the House the last few years.
SB1529 (Harmon) concerns start dates for REC contracts if the project is delayed due to finalizing interconnection agreements due to actions or inactions by the transmission operator.
SB1836 (Tracy) would require the Department of Ag to add a database to log complaints for renewable energy projects. According to the sponsor, it is unlikely this bill will move.
SB1847 (Munoz) IEPA shall provide public notice to legislators when permitting a new facility.
SB1887 (Tracy) repeals provisions allowing for cheaper vehicle registration for electric vehicles.
SB2084 (Harmon) sets forth additional requirements for electric and gas alternative retail suppliers, such as requiring ARES to include a statement that they are not the same as the electric utility and providing rates it charged customers in the previous quarter to the ICC and Attorney General, among others.
Illinois Department of Natural Resources Director Named
Colleen Callahan will serve as Director of the Illinois Department of Natural Resources (DNR), pending confirmation by the Illinois Senate. Ms. Callahan currently manages her own communications consulting firm after spending over seven years as state director for USDA Rural Development in Illinois. During her tenure, she oversaw a 20% reduction in staffing while still being able to generate a $1 billion increase in the Illinois loan portfolio. Callahan previously served as the agribusiness director for WMBD in Peoria, a position she held for 30 years. Callahan received her Bachelor of Science in agricultural communications from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
ILLINOIS CHAMBER LOBBY DAY
Please save the day for our 2019 Chamber lobby day on March 20th. If you would like to register, you can do so here.
If you're reading this, thanks for sticking with the long update!