Negotiations continue on energy bill as lawmakers expect to return later in the summer

Chris Welch

House Speaker Emanuel "Chris" Welch speaks at a news conference after the House adjourned Wednesday at the Illinois State Capitol. (Capitol News Illinois photo by Peter Hancock)

By PETER HANCOCK
Capitol News Illinois

SPRINGFIELD – Illinois lawmakers finished a two-day special session Thursday by passing some important legislation but without reaching agreement on the one issue they had hoped to resolve – an energy bill that would phase out all carbon emissions from power plants over the next 30 years.

“I think a very successful legislative session got a lot more successful today,” House Speaker Emanuel “Chris” Welch, D-Hillside, said Wednesday during a news conference shortly after the House adjourned. “We got some important things done. And we got it done because we have some great people in the House of Representatives, on both sides of the aisle.”

Topping their list of accomplishments was the final, slightly amended passage of a $42.3 billion budget plan for the upcoming fiscal year, something they thought they had completed when they first adjourned June 1, but which Gov. JB Pritzker was forced to send back for a minor change to correct drafting errors regarding the effective date of various provisions.

“It’s a balanced budget that achieves a level of fiscal prudence not seen in our state for two decades,” Pritzker said Thursday during a news conference in Chicago. “For the first time since 2001, Illinois is paying its bills on time. We are also paying off pandemic borrowing early. We’re meeting our full pension obligation and we’re saving taxpayers tens of millions of taxpayer dollars along the way.”

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