(The Center Square) – The Illinois Senate plans to return to Springfield on Tuesday next week and one of the issues members could tackle is an energy deal.
Since they finished up the spring session in overtime June 1, state lawmakers have been discussing various aspects of a proposed bill regulating the state’s energy industry. Such a deal didn’t come together in the final hours last week before both chambers left Springfield.
Several lawmakers from both sides of the aisle said they should come back to deal with the issue, especially as Exelon has said it will have to close some nuclear plants by this fall because of hundreds of millions in revenue loss.
Gov. J.B. Pritzker last week said a deal is being put in bill form.
A member of Senate President Don Harmon’s staff confirmed the Senate will be back a week from Tuesday.
“This is a landmark clean energy plan that both protects thousands of jobs and moves Illinois responsibly toward the future,” Illinois Senate President Don Harmon said in a statement Tuesday..
Harmon said the Senate session will be a single day.
The House Speaker’s office didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.
Part of the proposal is expected to focus on bringing about renewable energy. Pritzker has said the measure will keep all nuclear facilities open. It’s unclear if that means taxpayer subsidies or how much. Members of both parties have signaled support to keep nuclear power plants open.
Another aspect of the proposal could work toward the governor’s goal of closing down coal-fired power plants by 2035. Members of both parties have voiced opposition to that prospect, especially if it impacts nonprofit coal-fired power plants that supply energy for downstate Illinois.
If lawmakers return, they could also take up other measures that didn’t pass before adjourning for the summer, such as the backlog of Firearm Owner’s Identification card applications, a gambling expansion measure or other legislation.