OUR VIEW: Positive signs at signing

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Herald & Review editorial board

The presence of elected Republicans beside Gov. J.B. Pritzker as a bill signing this week shows sometimes politicians can put people over party.

Pritzker signed into law sweeping energy regulation overhauls, satisfying a campaign goal and pleasing a bunch of partisans. Environmental and social justice activists and union representatives stood with Pritzker as he signed legislation designed to continue impact long after the governor leaves Springfield.

One of the goals is phasing out carbon emissions from the energy sector by 2045.

The signing caps a two-plus-year series of negations and came back from apparent death multiple times. The signing also garnered attention from Washington, D.C., with U.S. Secretary of Energy Jennifer Granholm praising the measure in a news release.

Pritzker framed a world picture in his remarks, mentioning Hurricane Ida’s destruction to the South and fires at the Boundary Waters wilderness area in Minnesota. He didn’t mention record high temperatures, West Coast wildfires and other numbing environmental news.

There comes a time to change habits to protect what’s left of our surroundings. This is that time.

It won’t come without a cost, something citizens don’t want to hear when they’re demanding issues be solved. Estimates for the cost of the bill have ranged from $3 to $4 monthly added to ratepayer bills (according to the Citizens Utility Board) to $15 (according to senior advocacy group AARP). Bill sponsor Sen. Michael Hastings, D-Frankfort, said residential electric bills would increase by about 3-4%, commercial bills by about 5-6% and industrial bills by about 7-8%.

The specific benefit in Central Illinois comes with the electric vehicle portion of the bill. It aims for 1 million electric vehicles on Illinois roads by 2030. It also provides for a $4,000 rebate on an electric vehicle purchase starting in July 2022. Prtizker said the rebate would be available to all Illinoisans.

Not everything is solved. Lawmakers have said follow-up legislation will be considered in the fall veto session to clean up portions of the nearly 1,000-page bill.

Those two Republicans who stood with Pritzker may have been props for the governor’s photo opportunity. They doubtless heard from some of their constituency. But even if that’s a small indicator of bi-partisanship, maybe it shows a sliver of what can be accomplished with other priorities.

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



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September 17, 2021 at 10:52PM

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