Springfield, Ill. — Labor coalition Climate Jobs Illinois (CJI) today praised the House Public Utilities Committee for passing the Climate Union Jobs Act. The legislation would put thousands of union tradespeople to work building a 100 percent clean energy economy in Illinois and provide a new pathway to the middle class to address historic—and growing—income inequality in underserved communities most impacted by climate change.

“We applaud Rep. Walsh for his leadership in bringing this legislation before his committee. As a result, the legislation that Rep. Walsh, Rep. Evans and Rep. Hoffman have proposed will put working people at the center of building a cleaner future for our state,” CJI Executive Director Joe Duffy said. 

The Climate Union Jobs Act that broadly:

  • Sets labor standards when ratepayer dollars are used; 
  • Returns to traditional ratemaking; 
  • Preserves the state’s nuclear fleet and additional renewable generation; 
  • Creates a just transition for communities economically reliant on fossil fuel generation and establishes equity requirements for clean energy jobs; 
  • Increases the diversity of the renewable energy sector with new reporting requirements and enforcement of diversity hiring goals;
  • Invests $50 million into proven jobs training programs and $5 million of additional funding for the Illinois Works program to support the recruitment and training of a diverse workforce;
  • Provides $150 million annually in rate relief to low-income families; and
  • Reduces the state’s emissions from buildings and transportation. 

Climate Jobs Illinois represents the hundreds of thousands of Illinois working men and women who are best equipped to build Illinois’ new clean-energy economy from the ground up. Executive Committee members of Climate Jobs Illinois are: Chicago Regional Council of Carpenters, Illinois Education Association, Illinois Federation of Teachers, International Association of Bridge, Structural, Ornamental and Reinforcing Iron Workers Union, the International Association of Heat and Frost Insulators and Allied Workers, International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers State Council, International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 134, International Union of Operating Engineers Local 150, Laborers International Union of North America Great Lakes Region, Laborers International Union of North America Midwest Region, Service Employees International Union State Council and United Auto Workers Region 4.

Climate Jobs Illinois is a state affiliate of the Climate Jobs National Resource Center. CJI has partnered with The Project for Middle Class Renewal at UIUC, Illinois Economic Policy Institute and Cornell University Worker Institute.

To learn more, visit https://climatejobsillinois.org, and follow CJI at @ClimateJobsIL on Twitter or join its Facebook page