Read the full story at Climate XChange.
Amidst record-setting daily totals in COVID-19 cases and its largest spike in deaths since May, the state of Illinois opted to forgo its end of year legislative session. Citing health and safety concerns of state legislators and staff, Illinois House and Senate leadership cancelled the “veto session” – originally scheduled for November 17–19 and December 1–3. As a result, the attention of state lawmakers to push forward their legislative priorities has shifted toward January as the earliest that the General Assembly is expected to reconvene.
When the calendar flips to 2021, returning and newly-elected legislators will have a responsibility to address the state’s growing need for recovery assistance in light of the worsening pandemic. Bold action on climate in the form of the Clean Energy Jobs Act (CEJA) could play an important role in this. Illinois House and Senate Democrats, both of whom retained super-majorities in their respective chambers through November’s elections, are expected to waste no time in advancing an updated version of CEJA. The revised bill addresses concerns around utility accountability and equity while also providing a crucial model for other states aiming to take big action on climate.