ROCKFORD – A bill aimed at making Illinois a more environmentally friendly state is now making it’s way through the halls of power in Springfield.

Dozens in the Stateline showed their support for the creation of The Clean Energy Jobs Act.

A new bill sets out to make Illinois use 100% renewable energy by 2050.The legislation would aim to eliminate carbon from the electric grid, electrify the transportation, all while prioritizing job growth.

“Things like job training workforce hubs, where folks can get a lot of support,” saif llinois Sierra Club member Caroline Wooten. “Also, get skills and education they need to enter some of these clean energy job training programs.”

State Representative Maurice West is a co-sponsor of the bill.

“These jobs you don’t really need a degree for,” said West. “You need to be certified or licensed or something, it’s a short term training plan.”

Mayor Tom McNamara was among the supporters, he says it’s up to this generation to do something about climate change.

“From more significant and severe weather to more flooding,” said McNamara. “It’s right here in Rockford already, we have to address it head on. I think the best way to address it is to make sure more people are at the table and drafting the final bill.”

The legislation would offer renewable energy credits to draw clean energy businesses to the state.

West says Illinois needs to become a trailblazer in green energy.

“It’s time for us to start putting this on the forefront,” said West. “It’s time for us to really understand what’s going on and finding ways to combat the negativity that’s going on in our climate.”

The bill has been worked on for the past year, advocates say their work isn’t done just yet.

“We’re really excited about what we have now,” said Wooten. “But we also know that the bill will continue to grow and change as we hear from community and stakeholders all across the state.”

The bill is still in it’s early stages, no word on when it’ll be up for a vote.


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