Illinois Lawmakers Approve Exelon Subsidy Plan; House Adjourns

Dec 1, 2016

Clinton Nuclear Generating Station
Credit Wikimedia Commons

A plan intended to keep two nuclear power plants operating and save thousands of Illinois jobs is on its way to Gov. Bruce Rauner.
 
The Senate voted 32-18 to approve the plan Thursday night just an hour after it got House approval 63-38.
 
The measure provides $235 million a year to Exelon Corp. for 13 years. Exelon counts it as a subsidy for nuclear power producing no gases harmful to the
atmosphere.
 
It allows unprofitable nuclear plants in Clinton and the Quad Cities to stay open.
 
Proponents say it will cost electricity ratepayers less than 25 cents a month and provide hundreds of millions of dollars in energy-efficiency programs.
 
Critics say it's a corporate bailout that will hike energy prices and Illinois has enough power generation without the nuclear plants.

The Illinois House has adjourned for the year without attempting to override a veto from Gov. Bruce Rauner that removed $215 million in pension relief for the financially struggling Chicago Public Schools system.
 
The Republican governor vetoed the funding Thursday, saying Democrats had backed out of a promise to work on overhauling the state's overall pension system as a condition of getting the money.
 
Senate Democrats successfully voted to override the governor's veto, but the House needed to agree to overturn the veto and never called the question for a vote. It was unclear whether they had enough support to override the governor.
 
The district had counted on the money to pay the employer's contribution to teachers' pensions. Chicago Public Schools CEO Forrest Claypool has said that, without the aid, there could be budget cuts.