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Steans aims to make Illinois’ energy sector carbon-free by 2030

steans 031419SPRINGFIELD – State Senator Heather Steans (D-Chicago) passed legislation today requiring business, environmental and power agencies to work together to create a plan to make Illinois’ energy industry completely carbon-free by 2030.

“Recent reports from the scientific community show that climate change is an even more pressing issue than we imagined and that we must take immediate action in order to avoid disastrous consequences,” Steans said. “Since the current presidential administration shows little willingness to accept these facts, it is up to individual states to make the change to renewable energy.”

Steans’ measure tasks the Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity, the Illinois Commerce Commission, the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency and the Illinois Power Agency to work together to design a policy plan to decarbonize Illinois’ energy sector and phase out polluting power plants over the next decade.

Many electric power plants burn coal, oil or natural gas in order to generate electricity for energy needs, which results in carbon emissions contributing to climate change. Whereas the renewable energy industry, comprising alternative energy and sustainable energy companies, includes carbon free alternatives such as hydroelectric power, wind power and solar power generation.  

This measure is a part of a larger effort by the Illinois Clean Jobs Coalition and the Illinois Environmental Council (IEC) to achieve 100 percent renewable energy by 2050.

Senate Bill 2020 passed the Senate Environment and Conservation Committee without opposition today and now heads to the full Senate for consideration.

Cunningham introduces bill to retrieve FOID cards from unfit individuals

cunningham 031419SPRINGFIELD – State Senator Bill Cunningham has introduced a measure that would create groups tasked with retrieving Firearm Owner Identification (FOID) cards after they have been revoked.

Although state law already allows the state to revoke FOID cards if an individual is deemed unfit to carry a firearm, there is no system currently in place to ensure that a FOID is physically revoked to prevent further gun purchases. Senate Bill 715 would create firearm Revocation Enforcement Groups charged with recovering FOID cards that have been revoked by the state of Illinois.

Morrison passes proposal to expand dental coverage for individuals with autism

dental 031419SPRINGFIELD – Dental patients with an autism spectrum disorder or developmental disability will have access to expanded dental insurance coverage for anesthesia under a proposal passed today by State Senator Julie Morrison (D-Deerfield). 

“Families will have options under this proposal to ensure that dental work is not distressing and is as pain free as possible,” Morrison said. “Unfamiliar environments can be an especially challenging experience for an individual with autism. We want to make sure that needed dental work is not left untreated, as additional health consequences can develop.”

Senate Bill 111 would require health insurance companies to cover anesthetics provided with dental care to patients who have been diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder or who have a developmental disability. The proposal would require coverage until an individual reaches 26 years of age. Currently, the insurance mandate expires once an individual reaches age 19.

Studies show individuals with autism spectrum disorder require health services more commonly than those without.

Senate Bill 111 passed the Senate this afternoon and will now head to the House for further debate.

Senate President: New governor offers new hope in fight to curb teen vaping, smoking

jjc 031419SPRINGFIELD —  Hoping a new governor results in a better outcome, the Illinois Senate overwhelmingly approved raising to 21 the legal age to buy cigarettes and alternative nicotine products, clearing the way for the proposal to go to Gov. JB Pritzker and become state law.

The 39-16 vote Thursday comes less than a year after the Senate approved an identical proposal only to have it vetoed by then-Gov. Bruce Rauner. Since then, the proposal has steadily picked up support.

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