Executive Director
Energy Council


March 26, 2018

The primary is over and the legislature is still out until April 9
th for the House, April 10 th for the Senate. It's also committee deadline week in both chambers, so expect a busy week when we return. Third reading deadline is April 27 th.

We all know by now who won their respective primaries at the state level - JB won the Democratic Governor race, Rauner the Republican; State Senator Kwame Raoul took the crowded Democratic AG field and Erika Harold won on the R side. The remaining election season promises to be interesting, and expensive. ($120 million contributed by the two gubernatorial candidates thus far.)

Swinging back around to Springfield, the House has posted committees for the week of April 9 th. Below is a rundown of what's posted in House committees in the energy and environment space. The Senate has yet to announce hearings. There will be no newsletter update next week as I will be out of town. I will try to get a Senate update out as soon as I can.

House Public Utilities canceled its last scheduled hearing, so what's posted for its April 9 th, 1pm hearing is the same as before. Of note, HB4898 offered by Representative Guzzardi would effectively prohibit utilities from applying a surcharge for cost recovery. This applies only to utilities in northern Illinois serving under one million customers, however northern Illinois is not geographically defined. We oppose this bill as it would slow natural gas infrastructure improvements and negatively impact customers.

HB5101 offered by Representative Evans would effectively limit both gas and electric retail energy choice to suppliers serving customers through municipal aggregation programs. This would also limit businesses who use electricity choice. We oppose this legislation as well.

House Environment meets at 3pm. HR123 encourages pipeline companies to have an independent study done, before any new pipeline is laid or product moves through existing pipe, to determine the effects of fossil fuels on climate change. We are opposed. HB5198allows for plastics to be converted back to crude oil and other useful products.

HB3643 (Moeller) changes the definition of a public utility to exempt pipeline companies that have not acted in the public interest. We are opposed. HB4807 (Hoffman) would exempt the extraction of coal incidental to the development or operation of a sanitary landfill.

House Judiciary-Civil meets at 8am on Tuesday. Posted to Committee are HB5119, HB5564, and HB4920.

HB5119 is the companion bill to SB3005, which the Chamber is strongly opposed to. We understand Representative Anderson would like to wait and see what happens in the Senate as that bill moved first. As a reminder, SB3005 Amdt2 passed Committee by 10-2 with a promise to hold it on second and return the bill to Committee. If the bill will see any additional action, we expect another amendment to be offered and the sponsor has promised to bring it back to Committee. However, the bill is on the floor and could technically receive a floor amendment instead, despite the sponsors promises.

HB5564 (Moeller) requires compensation to be determined by a jury trial before access is given to land in eminent domain cases for certain industries. This is identical to her bill last year that received some traction in Committee. In conversation with Chairman Thapedi, the bill will be moved to the Civil Procedure subcommittee (it is currently posted to Real and Personal Property Law, but that was a mistake.) We are opposed to this legislation.

HB4920 (Williams) is a clean-up bill to HB1542 (Phelps) that passed last year. The bill cleans up some language in HB1542 regarding trusts.

HB5748, a Chamber initiative, was posted to House Revenue, scheduled for 3pm on Wednesday. This legislation serves as a starting point for potential fracking rework and an opportunity to start the conversation. In its current form, it removes one permitting requirement and reduces the taxes collected. The lone company that applied for and was granted a permit to drill in Illinois withdrew its permit last year, citing burdensome permitting process and regulatory compliance costs, combined with low oil and gas prices, in its decision to drop drilling plans in the New Albany Shale.

House Labor and Commerce Committee meets on Tuesday at 3pm. HB5689, puts certain state regulations regarding coal mining in line with federal requirements. This bill passed both chambers last session, but it was used as the vehicle for the telecom rewrite. The Chamber supported the bill last year.
HB5743 would repeal the Hydraulic Fracturing Regulatory Act. We will oppose that measure.

House Energy meets on Thursday at 9am. Posted are HB4236 (Phillips) and HB4651 (Meier). HB4236 would require the inclusion of sourcing agreements between "clean coal facilities" and both utilities and alternative retail electric suppliers as part of each annual procurement plan from the IPA and ICC.
HB4651 would change the name of the Wind Energy Facilities Agricultural Impact Mitigation Act (AIMA) to include solar projects and require projects to enter into an AIMA prior to developers contact landowners. This would utilize the AIMA developed for wind projects and apply them to solar projects.

Don't miss out - there are a few spots left for anyone interested in attending the Illinois Chamber's Inaugural Women's Conference on March 27 th

Illinois women are Second to No One.  Yet, our presence in the boardroom, c-suite, and management levels, ranks at percentages better suited for centuries past.  The Illinois Chamber of Commerce stands with our fellow females and presents this conference to empower our already Strong Women for a Stronger Illinois.  Join us as we harness the experiences, leadership, and aspirations of women in business, politics, and the nonprofit world to explore what it takes to put more cracks in that glass ceiling. Hear from inspiring women who've been through it and take away that energy to blaze your own path.  

Campaign politics are shaping the policy debate in Springfield and will have lasting implications on the business community. On April 11th, join us in our first ever Chamber Day - an advocacy effort to let lawmakers know we must be heard in any major policy decision impacting Illinois employers.  This new event will combine our local chamber summit and the Chamber's traditional lobby day to better show our strength in numbers. 

Register here TODAY by  clicking here.

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