Executive Director
Energy Council


January 28, 2019

It's a slow start legislatively in Springfield but the House and Senate are in session this week. This week marks the start of at least one chamber of the General Assembly being in session every week until April. The House is expected to announce Committee assignments on Tuesday, but Committee Chairs have been announced. While it's a slow start, the onslaught will come.

Senate Energy and Public Utilities Committee, chaired by Senator Bill Cunningham. Senator Cunningham has experience moving a large bill through, having sponsored the telecom bill and chaired the Senate Telecommunications and Information Technology Committee when it moved through. The full Committee list is here.

Senate Environment and Conservation Committee will be chaired by Senator Melinda Bush, a strong environmental advocate. The full Committee list is here.

House Energy and Environment Committee will be chaired by Representative Ann Williams.

As the House has not released Committee assignments, no hearings are scheduled this week. Two things up in the Senate this week:
Senate Revenue meets Wednesday at 5pm and will consider SB29 (Bush), which creates 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.

Senate Commerce and Economic Development will meet Wednesday at 9am to consider SB76 (Castro), which requires a publicly held domestic or international business whose executive offices are located in Illinois to include a certain number of females on its board (based on existing board numbers) by July 31, 2020.

Energy Bills Introduced Last Week
HB826 (Burke) allows a municipality to impose a tax for the privilege of using gas in the municipality that was purchased out-of-state.

HB840 (Mason) will require the ICC to report on the decommissioning of nuclear power plants in Illinois. The first report is due in 2020 and a bi-annual basis thereafter.

HB876 (Carroll) will require that a utility must provide disclosures requested by a customer concerning information affecting utility owned property or its business. The disclosed documents include profiles, reports, books, accounts, etc.

The Illinois Chamber of Commerce Foundation released a report on Friday on the potential economic impact of a data center incentive here in Illinois. The report compares the disparity of data center capital investment growth and jobs created between Illinois and neighboring and competitive states and examines the state tax policies used to attract and grow the industry. Today, 30 states have incentives that are specifically targeted at attracting data centers as part of expanded economic development efforts. However, 24 of these states have enacted legislation since 2012 in an effort to capture a greater percentage of the growth. Illinois is surrounded by states that offer data center incentives.

If a large data center were to be located in Illinois, the potential total economic impact on the Illinois' statewide economy would be approximately 3,360 jobs, $203.9 million in labor income, and $521.7 million in economic output. That much economic activity would generate approximately $66.7 million in tax revenue, of which $20.2 million would be state and local tax revenue. The report can be viewed here.

As many of our members use drones for inspection and operation needs of their facilities, members may be interested to know that the Federal Aviation Administration has taken action to expand UAS operations. A Notice of Proposed Rulemaking has been announced to regulate the operation of UAS devices over people and at night without a waiver. The FAA also issued an Advanced Notice of Proposed Rulemaking seeking comment on if the FAA should promulgate new rulemaking to require stand-off distances, additional operating and performance restrictions, the use of UAS Traffic Management (UTM), and additional payload restrictions.


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