… State Senator Sally Turner (R-Beason) joined several Illinois Republican legislators at the Capitol Tuesday to call for action to address the rising cost of energy impacting Illinois families and businesses.
Gathering a day before the Governor’s 2023 Budget and State of the State Address, the legislators said providing long-term relief for Illinois families should be one of Gov. JB Pritzker’s top budget priorities, and have introduced a number of proposals for short-term relief.
“The ongoing energy crisis within downstate Illinois is forcing too many Illinois families to choose between heating or eating,” said Sen. Turner. “It is our duty as legislators to provide real-world solutions for this problem as quickly as possible.”
Citing energy rate increases that have almost doubled some families’ power bills since May 2022, Sen. Turner is backing Senate Bill 2200, which would allocate $200 million in rebates to affected consumers. The Legislature approved an Ameren rate relief package during last month’s lame-duck session that would provide the average household with $170 in rate relief. The rate relief would be broken up into monthly bill credits likely occurring from April through October. The program is subject to appropriation, and it has not been funded.
Sen. Turner is also supporting Senate Bill 1548, which would cut burdensome regulatory “red tape” at the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency, which has prevented new power plants from coming online in a timely manner. And Senate Bill 1547, which would create the Power Grid Task Force requiring the General Assembly to look at the impacts that energy policies are having on Illinois’ ability to produce the required amount of energy to meet Illinois’ needs.
“These proposals are common-sense solutions that should garner bipartisan support, including from the Governor,” continued Sen. Turner. “If we do nothing to address our state’s energy capacity problems, Illinoisans throughout the state will continue to see rate increases and even potential black or brown outs.”
While Illinoisans await action on legislative measures to address energy costs and grid supply, legislators will be sending a letter to Gov. Pritzker requesting the filing of emergency rulemaking procedures to dump more power into the grid markets and revised permit procedures to fast-track the development of natural gas plants.