051320210041SPRINGFIELD – As clean energy is the path to a safer environment, Senate Majority Leader Kimberly A. Lightford (D-Maywood) supported historic energy legislation that would create and preserve tens of thousands of clean energy jobs and help promote an equitable workforce.   

“This legislation is historic for Illinois and will jumpstart more sustainable, diverse energy jobs,” Lightford said. “It helps tackle our world’s number one issue, climate change, and leads us to a cleaner and safer future. “ 

For residents who have no experience in renewable energy, Senate Bill 2408 would create the Illinois Climate Works Preapprenticeship Program and Clean Energy Prime Contractor Accelerator Programs to train and mentor workers for careers in clean energy construction and building trades. 

Also, to lower Illinois’ recidivism rates and help former inmates return to society, the legislation would create the Returning Residents Clean Job Training Program to prepare them for jobs in solar and other renewable energy fields. 

The measure would require all coal, oil, and natural gas-burning power plants to stop polluting by 2044. It also would establish a statewide clean energy goal of 100% by 2050 and a renewable energy goal of 50% by 2040, establish a goal of one million electric vehicles on the road by 2030, with state rebates, and increase energy efficiency in public schools. 

For families who are impacted by Illinois’ clean energy transition, the legislation would create an Energy Transition Barrier Reduction Program to support those impacted by the energy transition and encourage participation in workforce training programs. It would also offer scholarships to children of displaced energy workers at Illinois higher education institutions.

“All energy companies need to do their part to create safer and cleaner environments for all communities in Illinois,” Lightford said. “Our state transition to 100% renewable power will not be easy, but it supports all families as our state moves toward a secure future for generations to come.”