SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – State Rep. Jay Hoffman, D-Swansea, delivered a major energy modernization bill Thursday, bringing labor unions, environmental advocates and business groups together to protect local power plant jobs and expand access to new career training as the industry moves toward renewable energy.
“By bringing everyone to the table we were able to protect Illinois jobs and ensure energy needs are met while we transition to renewable energy,” Hoffman said. “The energy industry has long been at the heart of our economies in the Metro East and Southern Illinois, and has created good-paying jobs and a strong middle-class life for so many. So as that industry continues to evolve along with national and global trends, we need protect these local jobs and create new training opportunities that keep our communities on the cutting edge.”
Hoffman was a lead negotiator of Senate Bill 2408, which was approved with bipartisan support during a special session of the Illinois House of Representatives. The Hoffman-sponsored legislation protects jobs in Southern Illinois and the Metro East while the state transitions to renewable energy. While working with labor unions, local stakeholders, and environmental and business advocates, Hoffman also worked to prioritize programs across the state to train people for green energy jobs and to also help foster new small businesses in renewable energy. The measure also strengthens ethical standards for utility companies, increasing transparency and prohibiting energy providers from passing legal fees onto customers.
“The energy industry is on the brink of major changes, and as that happens we need to ensure that no one loses their livelihood by creating new high paying jobs in the Metro East and Southern Illinois,” said Hoffman. “This agreement positions our communities to thrive in tomorrow’s economy and helps people train for the high-wage jobs of the future.”