Executive Director
Energy Council


MAY 25, 2018

We have five days left in session (if you are reading this on Friday) as both the House and Senate have cancelled session for the weekend, returning Monday. We continue to hear that a budget will pass out of both chambers, be signed or vetoed, but likely we will see a budget by May 31 st . Nevertheless, it remains relatively quiet around the Capitol, though a few issues remain. Below is a recap of the week and what we've got left.

House Environment met Tuesday, and Thursday. Tuesday saw the passage of SB3550, which deals with the ewaste program and drop-off collection programs. The Chamber opposed the bill as a fix to the ewaste bill that passed last year is necessary before changes are made to the program. Stakeholders have come to an agreement and an amendment is forthcoming.

SB2899 (Hoffman) was amended to exempt activities of coal extraction as part of government-financed highway or other construction from the Surface Coal Mining Land Conservation and Reclamation Act and allow the extracted coal to be sold. The bill passed the Committee and passed the House Friday.

SB2591 (Bennett/Meier) establishes an Agriculture Impact Mitigation Act agreement with solar facilities passed House Energy with no opposition and is on second reading.

HB4746 (Rose) passed the Senate Environment and Conservation Committee. The bill combines Senator Rose's previous bills that sets forth reporting and inspection requirements on natural gas storage facilities over the Mahomet Aquifer. It is on Concurrence in the House.

House Environment met in the morning and evening to gavel in and out. Amendment 3 to SB3101 (Castro/Moeller), which would require the Volkswagen funds to be distributed via appropriations, was posted but the sponsor has said she will not call it. We remain opposed to the bill and monitoring for any last minute activity.

Floor Activity
SB3156 is on third reading. The bill requires that Compliance Commitment Agreements (CCAs) be posted online within 30 days after taking effect. The Chamber testified in opposition to the bill during Committee and met with Representative Mitchell with an agreement that stakeholders would continue conversations after the Memorial Day holiday on this issue.

The Chamber opposed the bill after learning of instances where companies that have entered into CCA's with the IEPA are being sued, despite the good faith effort of entering into the CCA and trying to resolve the issue. SB3156 would cause an increase in litigation on Illinois businesses. The Chamber would like to see a mechanism that removes the threat of double jeopardy and provides that protection to companies to resolve their issues through the CCA instead of litigation that could be brought by a third party.  That conversation will continue.  

SB486 (Harmon/Currie) received a fourth amendment, making the bill an agreed bill. The bill provides a standardized property tax value for commercial solar energy systems and is on third reading in the House.

Remaining Issues
SB2213 (Biss/Stratton) is unlikely to be called. As of this writing, the bill has not received an extension past May 25 th. The House sponsor has said she does not intend to call the bill, however, we remain cognizant that we've heard that line before. We will continue to monitor.

Next Week
So far for next week, House Environment is posted for Tuesday at 8.30am. SB3309 (Schmipf/Bryant) would bring Illinois law in line with the federal Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act provisions. It passed the Senate with no opposition.

SB1531, Amendment 3 is posted for House Executive Committee for Tuesday at 9am. It is still unclear what path the bill will take. The Chamber is currently opposed to SB1531, Amdt 3. A fourth amendment has been offered, but not assigned to the Committee. SB1531 sets forth additional requirements for utilities and their engagement with low-income customers, such as expanding the use of deferred payment arrangements. The bill also attempts to implement additional regulation on competitive energy suppliers and shift the regulation of competitive retail energy market to the Attorney General's office, rather than the Illinois Commerce Commission.

Acting Commissioner Anastasia Palivos is hosting a Policy Session on energy storage. The session will feature panels discussing how energy storage integrates with the electric grid and consider the current legal and regulatory framework. The panelists will also examine practices in other states that Illinois could adopt. This will be a good look into possible policy considerations that could be proposed to the legislature and what changes to Illinois' current laws are needed for storage adaption.

The session is June 27, 2018 from 1:00 PM to 4:25 PM. It will be held in the Main Hearing Room, C-800, 8th Floor, ICC. No RSVP is necessary. More information, including the agenda, can be found at the ICC's website.



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