Text Size
Login

SB9

  • Sen. Scott BennettCHAMPAIGN – A proposal by State Senator Scott Bennett (D-Champaign) to provide Illinois communities the protection they need from toxic coal ash pollution was signed into law today.

    “This was about preventing coal ash waste from threatening our water and our communities throughout the state,” Bennet said. “I am relieved that we now have the protections, regulations and financial assurances in place that we need to prevent more coal ash crises from happening in Illinois."

    The new law addresses the closure of waste pits across the state filled with coal ash, a toxic byproduct of burning coal. There are approximately 25 known coal ash impoundments which are already closed in the state.

    Bennett’s measure would establish processes to address the other 50-plus impoundment sites which have yet to close.

  • bennett 030519SPRINGFIELD – Legislation sponsored by State Senator Scott Bennett (D-Champaign) to provide Illinois communities the protection they need from toxic coal ash pollution passed the Illinois House of Representatives this week.

    “After years of inaction, Illinois is finally taking steps to protect public health and the environment from toxic coal ash,” Bennett said. “This is a powerful victory for everyone who fought to keep our rivers, streams and lakes clean. An entire coalition across the state came together to protect Illinois communities and waterways for future generations.”

    The measure addresses the closure of waste pits across the state filled with coal ash, a toxic byproduct of burning coal. Senate Bill 9 creates a regulatory framework to ensure polluters, not taxpayers, pay for needed closure and cleanup, guarantees public participation and transparency around cleanups for affected communities and provides Illinois EPA the funds it needs to properly oversee closure and cleanup. 

    State Rep. Carol Ammons (D-Champaign) and State Rep. Mike Marron (R-Danville) carried the bill through the House and a large coalition of activists from around Illinois championed the legislation including: Central Illinois Healthy Communities Alliance, Citizens Against Longwall Mining, Citizens Against Ruining the Environment, Clean Power Lake County, Earthjustice, Eco-Justice Collaborative, Environmental Law & Policy Center, Faith in Place Action Fund, Illinois Environmental Council, Illinois People’s Action, Metro-East Green Alliance, Prairie Rivers Network, Protect the Middle Fork, Sierra Club Illinois Chapter, and Springfield Clean. 

    Senate Bill 9 now awaits the governor’s signature.

  • Sen. Scott BennettSPRINGFIELD – State Senator Scott Bennett (D-Champaign) joined legislators, environmental groups and community leaders from across Illinois Tuesday to call on the General Assembly to be proactive about the hazardous coal ash pollution threatening Illinois lakes, rivers and streams.

    “Coal ash pollution is not a partisan issue,” Bennet said. “There are coal ash pits in essentially every legislative district, so it’s important to recognize that it’s not a problem for one part of the state or one political party. It’s a problem for the state of Illinois.”

    Bennett championed the Coal Ash Pollution Prevention Act to address this issue. Senate Bill 9 would direct the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency to begin a rule-making process to require power plant operators to safely dispose of coal ash or ensure that pits are properly enclosed, impose fees on coal ash pits to pay the costs of hiring IEPA staff to oversee enforcement, and require power plant operators to set aside money to pay for cleaning up pits in the event a plant is shut down or a company goes bankrupt.

  • bennett 050919Coal Ash Pollution Prevention Act will protect land and water from coal ash pollution

    SPRINGFIELD – State Senator Scott Bennett (D-Champaign) advanced legislation today to address the issue of severe groundwater contamination at Illinois coal ash dumpsites.

    Recently, several state environmental groups found unsafe levels of toxic pollutants at 22 of Illinois’ coal ash storage sites in the last year.

    Millions of tons of coal ash, generated by the state’s coal-fired power plants, have been stored in primarily unlined ponds and landfills near the plants for decades. This toxic byproduct of burning coal continues to flow into groundwater, lakes, rivers, and streams around the state, including the Middle Fork of the Vermilion River, Illinois’ only National Scenic River.

  • jjc 070417

  • blk caucus 052517With the end of session looming, the Senate Black Caucus led the charge on presenting and passing a full balanced Senate budget. When it became apparent that partisan lines were drawn and the governor wanted to further hurt our state’s most vulnerable populations, the Senate Black Caucus stood together to provide the necessary votes.

    Assistant Majority Leader Caucus Kimberly A. Lightford (D-Maywood), joint chairwoman of Illinois Legislative Black Caucus, said in a statement, “We made an effort today to prevent the governor from causing more suffering to our most vulnerable populations with a plan that gives our state stability.”

  • tc 052417SPRINGFIELD — In an effort to protect Illinois taxpayers, State Senator Tom Cullerton (D-Villa Park) voted against a premature tax increase.

    Senate Bill 9 increases the state income tax from 3.75 percent to 4.95 percent.

    “I cannot support a tax increase until we cut more waste, fraud and abuse in state bureaucracy,” Cullerton said. “The governor’s administration entered into a $2.4 million leasing deal on the taxpayers’ dime; yet folks are asking DuPage residents to help balance the budget. This is unacceptable and something I cannot vote in favor of.”

    Cullerton and State Representative David McSweeney (R-Barrington Hills) are urging for a bipartisan investigation by the Illinois Audit Commission to examine the sweetheart deal Gov. Bruce Rauner’s administration gave to political insiders.

    Last week, the Illinois Senate passed structural reforms, such as Cullerton’s government consolidation plan, procurement reform and school funding reform.

    The school funding plan does not cut funding to schools in DuPage County. All schools will receive the same amount of funding they received this school year. However, struggling districts such as School District U-46 and Queen Bee School District 16 would receive an increase in funding to put them on an even playing field with neighboring schools. 

    “I would never support a plan that would pit children against each other,” Cullerton said. “None of our schools will receive less funding than the year before. However, we will move toward a system that is fair and gives all children, regardless of their ZIP code, a chance to succeed.” 

  • budget 052317 ftr