Rich Miller: How the Illinois energy legislation came together, at last

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The governor, too, played his cards right in the end. As we all know, Pritzker and Senate President Don Harmon still have, um, issues, so the two men apparently couldn’t bring themselves to make a deal with one another when the bill was in the Senate. Harmon finally accepted that reality and agreed to kick the ball to the House, where Pritzker was obviously more comfortable and willing to do whatever it took to work with Welch, including taking a deal that he might possibly have rejected if it had been made by the Senate (some insist the House bill wasn’t as strong as Harmon’s best effort last month).

Also, in retrospect, it was probably a good thing for the governor that talks with the Senate broke down at the end of May. If the bill had passed back then, the entire focus would’ve been on the huge bailout for Exelon’s nuke plants. Instead, the public conversation shifted to coal and climate change, which is a far more politically advantageous spot for Pritzker.

Whatever. It’s over now. Harmon graciously accepted the terms, and we won’t have to deal with this issue again until the inevitable “cleanup” bills surface.

Rich Miller also publishes Capitol Fax, a daily political newsletter, and CapitolFax.com.

PHOTOS: Illinois House lawmakers pass energy bill

Illinois Legislature

Rep. Marcus Evans, Jr., D-Chicago, talks on the phone prior to session starting on the floor of the Illinois House of Representatives at the Illinois State Capitol in Springfield, Ill., Thursday, Sept. 9, 2021.




JUSTIN L. FOWLER, THE STATE JOURNAL-REGISTER VIA AP



Illinois Legislature

Illinois State Rep. Stephanie Kifowit, D-Oswego, reacts as Illinois State Rep. Mark Batinick, R-Plainfield, thanks her for helping him change a blown out tire on Interstate 55 as he speaks on the floor of the Illinois House of Representatives at the Illinois State Capitol in Springfield, Ill., Thursday, Sept. 9, 2021.




JUSTIN L. FOWLER, THE STATE JOURNAL-REGISTER VIA AP



Illinois Legislature

Illinois State Rep. Mark Batinick, R-Plainfield, describes how Illinois State Rep. Stephanie Kifowit, D-Oswego, helped to block traffic for him while he changed a tire on Interstate 55 as he thanked her on the floor of the Illinois House of Representatives at the Illinois State Capitol in Springfield, Ill., Thursday, Sept. 9, 2021. 




JUSTIN L. FOWLER, THE STATE JOURNAL-REGISTER VIA AP



Illinois Legislature

Illinois State Rep. Avery Bourne, R-Morrisonville, speaks in opposition of Senate Bill 539, an omnibus ethics package, as representatives debate Gov. JB Pritzker’s amendatory veto on the bill on the floor of the Illinois House of Representatives at the Illinois State Capitol in Springfield, Ill., Thursday, Sept. 9, 2021. 




JUSTIN L. FOWLER, THE STATE JOURNAL-REGISTER VIA AP



Illinois Legislature

Illinois State Rep. Kelly Burke, right, D-Evergreen Park, watches the vote board as representatives vote to accept Gov. JB Pritzker’s amendatory veto on Senate Bill 539, an omnibus ethics package, on the floor of the Illinois House of Representatives at the Illinois State Capitol in Springfield, Ill., Thursday, Sept. 9, 2021. 




JUSTIN L. FOWLER, THE STATE JOURNAL-REGISTER VIA AP



Illinois Legislature

Illinois House Majority Leader Rep. Greg Harris, D-Chicago, looks out over the chamber as a session is gaveled in for the Illinois House of Representatives at the Illinois State Capitol in Springfield, Ill., Thursday, Sept. 9, 2021. 




JUSTIN L. FOWLER, THE STATE JOURNAL-REGISTER VIA AP



Illinois Legislature

Illinois State Rep. Mark Batinick, R-Plainfield, right, talks with Illinois State Rep. Stephanie Kifowit, D-Oswego, left, prior to session on the floor of the Illinois House of Representatives at the Illinois State Capitol in Springfield, Ill., Thursday, Sept. 9, 2021. 




JUSTIN L. FOWLER, THE STATE JOURNAL-REGISTER VIA AP



Illinois Legislature

Illinois State Rep. Tim Butler, R-Springfield, left, talks with Illinois State Rep. Jay Hoffman, D-Swansea, right, prior to debate on Senate Bill 2408, a comprehensive energy proposal, on the floor of the Illinois House of Representatives at the Illinois State Capitol in Springfield, Ill., Thursday, Sept. 9, 2021. 




JUSTIN L. FOWLER, THE STATE JOURNAL-REGISTER VIA AP



Illinois Legislature

Illinois State Rep. Tim Butler, R-Springfield, talks about Springfield’s Dallman coal-fired power station during debate on Senate Bill 2408, a comprehensive energy proposal, on the floor of the Illinois House of Representatives at the Illinois State Capitol in Springfield, Ill., Thursday, Sept. 9, 2021.




JUSTIN L. FOWLER, THE STATE JOURNAL-REGISTER VIA AP



Illinois Legislature

Illinois State Rep. Charlie Meier, R-Okawville, expresses his opposition to Senate Bill 2408, a comprehensive energy proposal, on the floor of the Illinois House of Representatives at the Illinois State Capitol in Springfield, Ill., Thursday, Sept. 9, 2021.




JUSTIN L. FOWLER, THE STATE JOURNAL-REGISTER VIA AP



Illinois Legislature

Illinois State Rep. CD Davidsmeyer, R-Jacksonville, expresses his opposition to Senate Bill 2408, a comprehensive energy proposal on the floor of the Illinois House of Representatives at the Illinois State Capitol in Springfield, Ill., Thursday, Sept. 9, 2021. 




JUSTIN L. FOWLER, THE STATE JOURNAL-REGISTER VIA AP



Illinois Legislature

Illinois State Rep. Bob Morgan, D-Deerfield, expresses his support of Senate Bill 2408, a comprehensive energy proposal, bringing up the smoke from the California wildfires causing health problems for his child during debate on the floor of the Illinois House of Representatives at the Illinois State Capitol in Springfield, Ill., Thursday, Sept. 9, 2021. 




JUSTIN L. FOWLER, THE STATE JOURNAL-REGISTER VIA AP



Illinois Legislature

Illinois Speaker of the House Emanuel "Chris" Welch, D-Hillside, left, listens as Illinois State Rep. LaShawn Ford, D-Chicago, talks about a promised trade school for Chicago during debate of Senate Bill 2408, a comprehensive energy proposal, on the floor of the Illinois House of Representatives at the Illinois State Capitol in Springfield, Ill., Thursday, Sept. 9, 2021.




JUSTIN L. FOWLER, THE STATE JOURNAL-REGISTER VIA AP



Illinois Legislature

Illinois State Rep. LaShawn Ford, D-Chicago, talks about a promised trade school for Chicago during debate of Senate Bill 2408, a comprehensive energy proposal, on the floor of the Illinois House of Representatives at the Illinois State Capitol in Springfield, Ill., Thursday, Sept. 9, 2021. 




JUSTIN L. FOWLER, THE STATE JOURNAL-REGISTER VIA AP



Illinois Legislature

Illinois State Rep. Marcus Evans, Jr., D-Chicago, answers questions from Republicans on Senate Bill 2408, a comprehensive energy proposal, during debate on the floor of the Illinois House of Representatives at the Illinois State Capitol in Springfield, Ill., Thursday, Sept. 9, 2021.




JUSTIN L. FOWLER, THE STATE JOURNAL-REGISTER VIA AP



Illinois Legislature

Illinois Speaker of the House Emanuel "Chris" Welch, D-Hillside, gives his closing remarks on Senate Bill 2048, a comprehensive energy proposal, on the floor of the Illinois House of Representatives at the Illinois State Capitol in Springfield, Ill., Thursday, Sept. 9, 2021. 




JUSTIN L. FOWLER, THE STATE JOURNAL-REGISTER VIA AP



Illinois Legislature

Illinois State Rep. Marcus Evans, Jr., D-Chicago, left, celebrates with Illinois State Rep. Jehan Gordon-Booth, D-Peoria, right, as Senate Bill 2048, a comprehensive energy proposal, passes the Illinois House of Representatives at the Illinois State Capitol in Springfield, Ill., Thursday, Sept. 9, 2021. 




JUSTIN L. FOWLER, THE STATE JOURNAL-REGISTER VIA AP



Illinois Legislature

Illinois Speaker of the House Emanuel "Chris" Welch, D-Hillside, gives his closing remarks on Senate Bill 2048, a comprehensive energy proposal, on the floor of the Illinois House of Representatives at the Illinois State Capitol in Springfield, Ill., Thursday, Sept. 9, 2021. 




JUSTIN L. FOWLER, THE STATE JOURNAL-REGISTER VIA AP



Illinois Legislature

Illinois Speaker of the House Emanuel "Chris" Welch, D-Hillside, right, gets a hug from Illinois State Rep. Jay Hoffman, D-Swansea, after Senate Bill 2048, a comprehensive energy proposal, passed the Illinois House of Representatives at the Illinois State Capitol in Springfield, Ill., Thursday, Sept. 9, 2021. 




JUSTIN L. FOWLER, THE STATE JOURNAL-REGISTER VIA AP



Illinois Legislature

Illinois Speaker of the House Emanuel "Chris" Welch, D-Hillside, center right, gives his closing remarks on Senate Bill 2048, a comprehensive energy proposal, on the floor of the Illinois House of Representatives at the Illinois State Capitol in Springfield, Ill., Thursday, Sept. 9, 2021. 




JUSTIN L. FOWLER, THE STATE JOURNAL-REGISTER VIA AP



Rich Miller publishes Capitol Fax, a daily political newsletter, and CapitolFax.com.

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September 11, 2021 at 03:49PM

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