Climate and Equitable Jobs Act Passes Illinois Legislature

Update: Governor Pritzker signed the Climate and Equitable Jobs Act into law at the Shedd Aquarium on September 15, 2021.

Since joining Vote Solar two years ago, I’ve been hard at work with our partners in the Illinois Clean Jobs Coalition toward an ambitious goal — passing the nation’s most equitable climate bill. We lobbied, we rallied, we drafted and redrafted. We held more than 100 meetings across the state to better understand what Illinoisans want to see in their clean energy future. And we spent more than six months negotiating with other stakeholders to get to a final bill. I’m thrilled to announce that we finally did it! 

A comprehensive, equity-centric, nation-leading climate bill has been passed by the legislature and is on its way to Governor Pritzker’s desk to be signed into law! 

This bill is the culmination of many years of work from people across a wide range of industries, geographies and experiences. It’s a testament to what can be accomplished when we come together in service of people and the planet, and has the potential to vitally transform our state’s renewable energy landscape.

What does this victory mean for Illinois? 

  • A clear path to 100% carbon-free power by 2045
  • Over $80 million per year for solar and energy efficiency workforce development — specifically in Black and Brown communities that have been historically shut out of the clean energy economy 
  • Expansion of the Illinois Solar for All program to provide free solar and guaranteed savings for low-income families, plus new inclusive finance mechanisms for families to invest in energy updates
  • An end to automatic, rubber-stamped utility rate hikes for consumers 
  • Electric vehicle and and transportation incentives 

In short: it means thousands of local jobs, millions in local investments, and cleaner and healthier communities. 

We’re so energized by this win and thankful for the years of work by our grassroots and frontline partners across the state. If you contacted your legislator, attended an event, or made a donation, I hope you take pride in the part you played. 

At Vote Solar, we’re ready to roll up our sleeves and continue doing this critical work — both by helping to implement the Climate and Equitable Jobs Act here in Illinois, but also by ensuring that other states follow our lead.

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