An Overview of Illinois’ 2023 Legislative Session
At his Inauguration on January 9, 2023, Governor J.B. Pritzker shared his agenda, which he called, “bold as our people are, thinking not only about the next four years, but about the next 40.”
We will need that bold vision to accomplish our shared goals.
With many bills being introduced in Illinois, we’ve compiled a list of proposed bills that we’ve been watching and advocating for during this legislative session. You’ll find an overview of them below.
More on the Bills We’re Currently Watching
House Bill 3119 + Senate Bill 2421:
After passing the Climate and Equitable Jobs Act in 2021, Faith in Place has continued to support legislation that transitions Illinois to 100% renewable energy by 2050. But as we build out the infrastructure to connect the solar and wind energy we’re building at a record pace, we also need to guard against untested and dangerous technologies that prolong our reliance on fossil fuels.
HB3119 (Williams) / SB2421 (Fine) will put a pause on the carbon capture and storage pipelines proposed for downstate Illinois until federal standards can be put in place to protect residents and property from the life-threatening effects of a pipeline malfunction.
House Bill 2520 + Senate Bill 1823:
Impacted communities should have a strong voice in what happens in their communities. That’s why we support HB2520 (Harper) / SB1823 (Villanueva)—legislation written and supported by environmental justice organizations that requires a review of the cumulative impact of air pollution sources and the denial of air pollution permits that are unhealthy for impacted communities.
House Bill 1608 + Senate Bill 1578:
We also support HB1608 (Mayfield) / SB1578 (A. Johnson), which requires the removal of all coal ash from the Waukegan Electric Generating Station to protect the largest public drinking water supply in the state of Illinois, Lake Michigan.
House Bill 3595:
HB3595 (Mah) would require a robust public notice and engagement process, air quality plans, and civil penalties for operators who fail to comply with these requirements for communities undergoing a power plant demolition.
Senate Bill 1800, House Bill 3597, and House Bill 2287:
You might have joined us for our December Monthly Call, where we explored how our consumption habits can impact communities located near commercial shipping facilities. Since that time, several bills on vehicle electrification are moving, including SB1800 (Murphy) and HB3597 (Didech) on electric truck vouchers, as well as HB2287 (Moylan) on electric school buses. These bills will help reduce air pollution from heavy duty vehicles in disproportionately impacted communities.
Senate Bill 100 + House Bill 2376:
Many of our Green Teams care deeply about waste and recycling. SB100 (Fine) / HB2376 (Gong-Gershowitz) creates a path forward for the elimination of polystyrene foam containers from the restaurant industry, with reasonable expectations set for low-income businesses. This is the first step in confronting the real problem of plastics in the Great Lakes basin.
Senate Bill 2368:
If you remember the flooding in the St. Louis area last summer, you might be surprised to learn that many impacted families could not access FEMA resources because their homes did not meet building code standards. SB2368 (Koehler) will modernize our state’s building codes to help impacted residents access these important services after a disaster.
Senate Bill 1360:
SB1360 (Fowler) proposes an “Access to Nutrition Program,” which would implement projects and strategies within food deserts to increase the distribution of fresh and nutritious food. This program would also provide educational opportunities in food preparation and nutrition. We think this bill is important to build just food systems across Illinois—from rural downstate communities to urban neighborhoods.
House Bill 39 + Senate Bill 1483:
Finally, HB39 (Ford) / SB1483 (Simmons) would restore voting rights to the roughly 28,000 people in Illinois prisons post-conviction. Of those incarcerated, 55% are Black and 43% are between the ages of 18 and 35. Current law disenfranchises our young, Black Illinoisans, and we hope to right this wrong through passing this legislation.
As people of faith and justice, we must push for the passage of bold policies that work to protect our communities and shared planet. Join us on April 19 to advocate for such policies at our 2023 Spring Environmental Lobby Day. Register here!