SPRINGFIELD – With an energy deal expected to be revealed later this week that could include regulations closing down coal-fired power plants by 2035 and a deal to keep nuclear plants open, state lawmakers will return to Springfield next week.
The Illinois Senate will be in Tuesday and the House Wednesday. Other than an energy deal, lawmakers could take up other legislation.
Senate President Don Harmon said that he expects a vote in his chamber as early as next week on the wide-ranging energy bill that was the subject of frenzied negotiation at the end of the session.
Harmon, D-Oak Park, said he didn’t expect there to be changes to Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s insistence that all coal-fired plants in Illinois shut down by 2035, despite the protests of municipally-owned utilities that are on the hook past that date to pay for the Prairie State plant built a little over a decade ago.
Those utilities, and unions representing workers at the plant in Marissa, Ill., about 40 miles southeast of St. Louis, continue to lobby lawmakers to permit the plant to stay open longer.
Illinois is the third-largest net electricity exporter among the states, and typically sends about one-fifth of the power it generates to other states via the interstate transmission lines.