SRP-IMAGE-Logo

Pritzker: ‘Devil’s in the details’ when considering lifting ban on new nuclear

By JERRY NOWICKI
& NIKA SCHOONOVER
Capitol News Illinois
news@capitolnewsillinois.com

SPRINGFIELD – Lawmakers went on a two-week spring break last week with more than 700 bills already passed in at least one chamber of the General Assembly.

They will return to Springfield on April 18 for a final one-month stretch in which the measures can be amended, defeated or sent to the governor.

Among the bills to successfully move to the other chamber are a measure to lift the state’s 1987 moratorium on nuclear power plant construction, a bill that would create statewide building codes and another requiring retail establishments to accept cash payments within certain hours.

Gov. JB Pritzker noted last week that he’s generally supportive of the concept of lifting the nuclear construction ban, although he didn’t commit to signing the proposal contained in Senate Bill 76, which passed on a 39-13 bipartisan roll call.

Pritzker said he is supportive of allowing for the construction of small modular nuclear reactors, which are small-scale generators that could be used to power individual factories or for other uses.

He said he didn’t think doing so would be contradictory to the Climate and Equitable Jobs Act that he signed in 2021. Some environmentalists have opposed lifting the nuclear ban due to the dangers associated with nuclear waste.

“These are smaller, less prone to an accident, more likely for us to be able to maintain them for a long period of time, that’s something that’s worthy of consideration,” Pritzker said. “Now the devil’s in the details and we want to make sure that we’re not just opening this up to nuclear everywhere or any type of nuclear.”

SB 76, as written, would allow any type of nuclear construction, including the large-scale projects.

“I don’t know where that bill will go this session, but I’m not opposed to it as if I’m, you know, just dead set against any nuclear,” he said. “I just want, if we’re going to consider it, it’s got to be safe.”

 

Statewide building codes

Beginning in 2025, Illinois could have statewide building codes for new or substantially renovated commercial and residential construction under a bill that passed the Senate before break.

Sponsored by Dave Koehler, D-Peoria, Senate Bill 2368 allows the state’s Capital Development Board to prohibit occupation of such a facility until it is inspected. The building would have to be compliant with several state or federal building codes for electricity, energy efficiency, accessibility, and plumbing, as well as the Fire Investigation Act.

“Basically, what this does is establishes a statewide building code as a minimum standard,” Koehler said during floor debate. “Now most communities are going to have well above the minimum standard. But the reason that this is important is because Illinois is one of only six states in the union that does not have a statewide building code.”

Koehler said when Illinois has a natural disaster and applies for funding from the Federal Emergency Management Agency, the state has to check a box noting it doesn’t currently have such a code.

“And so it costs us money,” he said.

The bill would require municipalities with existing building codes to adopt at least the newly created statewide minimum standard and submit their plans to the state. A homeowner renovating a residential property in a jurisdiction without a building code would have to adopt the code of any jurisdiction within 100 miles of the construction in the contract with their builder.

Otherwise, it would have to comply with the new statewide standards, which apply to new construction and any renovations that increase the property’s value by 50 percent or more. 

Republicans questioned whether a statewide code would be enforceable in smaller towns.

“It’s up to a municipality as to how they want to enforce it,” Koehler said. “The Capital Development Board is responsible for having organizations say that they’re, you know, what codes they have and all that. In terms of who enforces that? I don’t know.”

Sen. Chapin Rose, R-Mahomet, used a small town in his district as an example to speak against the bill.

“In Metcalf, Illinois, they don’t have anybody to mow the lawn, okay, let alone inspect a house,” Rose said. “But more importantly, you’re telling an awful lot of people who couldn’t afford to repair and maintain their home in the first place that we just doubled or tripled the bill. And there may or may not be some guy from the (Capital Development Board) knocking on their door.”

The measure passed 34-18 with one present vote and it awaits action in the House.

 

Cash requirements

Lawmakers advanced a bill that would mandate retail establishments to accept cash for purchases under $750. Senate Bill 1979 passed 40-16 in the Senate with mainly Democratic support.

Sen. Omar Aquino, D-Chicago, is the bill’s lead sponsor. He said SB 1979 is aimed at protecting “underbanked and unbanked” people who only carry cash.

“This bill is making sure that those folks…have an ability to still purchase needed things,” Aquino said. “Getting fuel, getting their medicine at the pharmacy, getting food on the table that they’re able to purchase from groceries and restaurants.”

The bill also says retail establishments can’t charge a higher price to customers paying with cash. SB 1979 also exempts restaurants, gas stations and grocery stores from the requirement between 11 p.m. and 6 a.m. in an effort to protect against robbery.

“It goes directly into trying to keep people safe,” Aquino said of the time exemption. “Businesses are accepting cash, we’re just trying to get ahead of the trend that looks like more locations are going for a non-cash payment.”

Debate on the measure centered around the question of accessibility versus safety, with Republican opponents arguing that mandating businesses to accept cash was putting them at risk.

“What I’m concerned about is the small businessman who operates in an area that he’s worried about theft, or he’s worried about robbery, and he chooses how he runs his business to operate in a certain area,” said Sen. Jil Tracy, R-Quincy.

Sen. Steve McClure, R-Springfield, added that not all robberies occur at night.

“These businesses, some have been ransacked, and the times in which they were ransacked in the last several years was not between 11 p.m. and 6 a.m.,” McClure said. “They were in broad daylight, and we are seeing that more and more.”

The bill also notes that retailers are not required to accept any denomination of currency larger than a $20 bill.

A violation could result in a $50 fine for the retail establishment, $100 for a second offense in a 12-month period or $500 for a third offense during that period. No establishment could be fined more than $5,000 in one year.

 

Capitol News Illinois is a nonprofit, nonpartisan news service covering state government. It is distributed to more than 400 newspapers statewide, as well as hundreds of radio and TV stations. It is funded primarily by the Illinois Press Foundation and the Robert R. McCormick Foundation.

Leave a Comment





Local News

Kathy Headley

Golf is for all at Marquette Park

Spread the love

Spread the love. Kathy Headley Your correspondent in Chicago Lawn and Marquette Manor 6610 S. Francisco • (773) 776-7778 . Last week we began by talking about how golf season is in full swing at Marquette Park. What if you have thought about playing, but have never played before? There are three programs at Marquette,…

The currently vacant building at 5400 W. 63rd St. --File photo

Legislation to acquire new police district facility on Southwest Side passes General Assembly

Spread the love

Spread the love. Porfirio, Guerrero-Cuellar measure heads to Pritzker’s desk  . From staff reports State Senator Mike Porfirio (D-11th) and State Rep. Angelica “Angie” Guerrero-Cuellar (D-22nd) recently passed legislation in the General Assembly to acquire a new police district facility representing their districts on the Southwest Side. The bill passed both chambers with veto-proof margins.…

SRP-IMAGE-Logo

Lyons water polo teams splash to state

Spread the love

Spread the loveBy Jeff Vorva Correspondent Both of Lyons water polo team qualified for the state quarterfinals. Lyons’ girls water polo team won its own sectional by beating Mother McAuley, 13-9, in the title game on May 11. The Lions will face York in the state quarterfinals on May 17 at Stevenson High School in…

SRP-IMAGE-Logo

IHSA announces postseason assignments for baseball, softball, girls soccer

Spread the love

Spread the loveBy Jeff Vorva Correspondent The IHSA has announced the Class 3A and 4A baseball seeds were revealed and Nazareth, which is seeking its third straight state championship will have to do it in Class 4A after winning two straight in 3A in 2022 and 2023. The Roadrunners drew the top seed at the…

Red Stars goalie Alyssa Naeher, shown retrieving a ball against Washington on May 1, left a May 12 game against Utah with an injury. Photo by Jeff Vorva

Red Stars win at home again, Naeher hurt

Spread the love

Spread the loveBy Jeff Vorva Correspondent The NWSL released a fun fact that is pretty darn fun for Chicago Red Stars fans. This year’s version of the Red Stars opened the season 3-0-1, scoring 10 points in the first four road games. They were the fourth team in league history to do that. According to…

Anna Marassa is the only girls volleyball coach in De La Salle history. Photo courtesy of De La Salle

Hall of Fame volleyball coach Anna Marassa coach calls it a career

Spread the love

Spread the loveBy Jeff Vorva Correspondent Hall of Fame volleyball coach Anna Marassa is retiring. Marassa is the only girls volleyball coach in De La Salle’s history as she headed up the program in 2002 and racked up 538 victories, 10 regional championships and four sectional titles. She is also the boys coach and wraps…

Shepard's Kyla Motley (left) and Rajae Stevenson at the Lyons Sectional. Photo courtesy of Shepard High School

Girls Track | Shepard’s Kyla Motley wins three titles at Lyons Sectional

Spread the love

Spread the loveBy Jeff Vorva Correspondent Shepard junior track star Kyla Motley was a sectional champion in three events for the second year in a row. Motley won the 100 high hurdles with a time of 15.31, the long jump with an 18-2.5 effort, and the triple jump with a 36-9 at the Class 3A Lyons…

Stagg tennis players and twins Nick and Seamus Keough finished third at No. 3 singles at the SouthWest Suburban Red meet. Photo by Xavier Sanchez

Boys Tennis | Stagg takes third at final SWSC Red tourney

Spread the love

Spread the loveBy Xavier Sanchez Correspondent Saturday blue skies cleared the way for the final SouthWest Suburban Conference boys tennis matches as Stagg hosted Andrew, Lincoln-Way Central, and Lincoln-Way West at Moraine Valley Community College. The Chargers started the season losing five of their first games but finished the regular season 10-10-1. They finished third…

Anthony Calderon

UPDATE: Bedford Park man, girlfriend charged with plotting Bridgeview father’s murder

Spread the love

Spread the loveBy Bob Bong A Bedford Park man and the victim’s girlfriend have been charged in the shooting death of Arturo Cantu last Wednesday. Bridgeview police arrested Anthony Calderon, 20, of the 7700 block of 65th Place, Friday night. He allegedly confessed to the murder and reportedly led police to the weapon used in…

Facepainting was a hit at Stickney's annual Cinco de Mayo celebration. (Supplied photos)

Stickney celebrates Cinco de Mayo

Spread the love

Spread the loveBy Carol McGowan The Village of Stickney didn’t disappoint this year with its annual Cinco de Mayo celebration. Village Trustee Leandra Torres, who is the Co-Chaiman of the Parks and Recreation Commission along with Trustee Jim Hrejsa, said it was a fun-filled day. “We had 774 people attend this year,” she said. “It…

Neighbors

Kathy Headley

Golf is for all at Marquette Park

Spread the love

Spread the love. Kathy Headley Your correspondent in Chicago Lawn and Marquette Manor 6610 S. Francisco • (773) 776-7778 . Last week we began by talking about how golf season is in full swing at Marquette Park. What if you have thought about playing, but have never played before? There are three programs at Marquette,…

The currently vacant building at 5400 W. 63rd St. --File photo

Legislation to acquire new police district facility on Southwest Side passes General Assembly

Spread the love

Spread the love. Porfirio, Guerrero-Cuellar measure heads to Pritzker’s desk  . From staff reports State Senator Mike Porfirio (D-11th) and State Rep. Angelica “Angie” Guerrero-Cuellar (D-22nd) recently passed legislation in the General Assembly to acquire a new police district facility representing their districts on the Southwest Side. The bill passed both chambers with veto-proof margins.…

SRP-IMAGE-Logo

Lyons water polo teams splash to state

Spread the love

Spread the loveBy Jeff Vorva Correspondent Both of Lyons water polo team qualified for the state quarterfinals. Lyons’ girls water polo team won its own sectional by beating Mother McAuley, 13-9, in the title game on May 11. The Lions will face York in the state quarterfinals on May 17 at Stevenson High School in…

SRP-IMAGE-Logo

IHSA announces postseason assignments for baseball, softball, girls soccer

Spread the love

Spread the loveBy Jeff Vorva Correspondent The IHSA has announced the Class 3A and 4A baseball seeds were revealed and Nazareth, which is seeking its third straight state championship will have to do it in Class 4A after winning two straight in 3A in 2022 and 2023. The Roadrunners drew the top seed at the…

Red Stars goalie Alyssa Naeher, shown retrieving a ball against Washington on May 1, left a May 12 game against Utah with an injury. Photo by Jeff Vorva

Red Stars win at home again, Naeher hurt

Spread the love

Spread the loveBy Jeff Vorva Correspondent The NWSL released a fun fact that is pretty darn fun for Chicago Red Stars fans. This year’s version of the Red Stars opened the season 3-0-1, scoring 10 points in the first four road games. They were the fourth team in league history to do that. According to…

Anna Marassa is the only girls volleyball coach in De La Salle history. Photo courtesy of De La Salle

Hall of Fame volleyball coach Anna Marassa coach calls it a career

Spread the love

Spread the loveBy Jeff Vorva Correspondent Hall of Fame volleyball coach Anna Marassa is retiring. Marassa is the only girls volleyball coach in De La Salle’s history as she headed up the program in 2002 and racked up 538 victories, 10 regional championships and four sectional titles. She is also the boys coach and wraps…

Shepard's Kyla Motley (left) and Rajae Stevenson at the Lyons Sectional. Photo courtesy of Shepard High School

Girls Track | Shepard’s Kyla Motley wins three titles at Lyons Sectional

Spread the love

Spread the loveBy Jeff Vorva Correspondent Shepard junior track star Kyla Motley was a sectional champion in three events for the second year in a row. Motley won the 100 high hurdles with a time of 15.31, the long jump with an 18-2.5 effort, and the triple jump with a 36-9 at the Class 3A Lyons…

Stagg tennis players and twins Nick and Seamus Keough finished third at No. 3 singles at the SouthWest Suburban Red meet. Photo by Xavier Sanchez

Boys Tennis | Stagg takes third at final SWSC Red tourney

Spread the love

Spread the loveBy Xavier Sanchez Correspondent Saturday blue skies cleared the way for the final SouthWest Suburban Conference boys tennis matches as Stagg hosted Andrew, Lincoln-Way Central, and Lincoln-Way West at Moraine Valley Community College. The Chargers started the season losing five of their first games but finished the regular season 10-10-1. They finished third…

Anthony Calderon

UPDATE: Bedford Park man, girlfriend charged with plotting Bridgeview father’s murder

Spread the love

Spread the loveBy Bob Bong A Bedford Park man and the victim’s girlfriend have been charged in the shooting death of Arturo Cantu last Wednesday. Bridgeview police arrested Anthony Calderon, 20, of the 7700 block of 65th Place, Friday night. He allegedly confessed to the murder and reportedly led police to the weapon used in…

Facepainting was a hit at Stickney's annual Cinco de Mayo celebration. (Supplied photos)

Stickney celebrates Cinco de Mayo

Spread the love

Spread the loveBy Carol McGowan The Village of Stickney didn’t disappoint this year with its annual Cinco de Mayo celebration. Village Trustee Leandra Torres, who is the Co-Chaiman of the Parks and Recreation Commission along with Trustee Jim Hrejsa, said it was a fun-filled day. “We had 774 people attend this year,” she said. “It…