Shortly after midnight on January 6, the Senate Executive Committee approved an amendment to HB 4412 (Senator Cunningham, D-Chicago) that will impose limitations on county authority to site wind and solar facilities. It includes statewide standards for siting the facilities as well as unrealistic timetables for public hearings (45 days) and rendering a final siting decision following the public hearing (30 days). The bill was passed out of committee on a 10-5 party-line vote, with Democrats in support and Republicans opposing.
ISACo registered in opposition to the amendment based upon the preemption of county zoning authority. The bill is an initiative of the Illinois Environmental Council. Bill proponents believe county zoning policies are an impediment to the development of wind and solar energy in Illinois. The bill is expected to be considered by the full Senate on Friday, January 6.
County officials are requested to contact their legislators and urge opposition to the wind and solar siting authority restrictions.