Take Action for Clean Air, Public Transit, and Wildlife

Monarch caterpillars eat only milkweed. Photo by Andrew C/Creative Commons

Monarch caterpillars eat only milkweed. Photo by Andrew C/Creative Commons

By Laurie Casey

Since 1975, Illinois Environmental Council (IEC) has promoted sound environmental laws and policies in Illinois. More than 80 affiliate organizations across the state collaborate through the IEC to create policies that protect Illinois’ air, water, and natural areas. IEC is the only organization that provides regular updates on the issues affecting the environment at the state level. We encourage Green Community Connections readers to sign up for the updates at the IEC website: https://ilenviro.org

Here’s a summary of their latest update. Take a few minutes to call your elected representatives during the Illinois General Assembly’s veto session going on this week.

Find your…

Representative (called the Representative District in this list; this is NOT your U.S. representative. We know, it’s confusing!)  http://www.elections.il.gov/districtlocator/addressfinder.aspx

Senator (called the Senate District in this list; this is NOT Senator Durbin or Duckworth, who are your U.S. Senators) http://www.elections.il.gov/districtlocator/addressfinder.aspx

Governor Bruce Rauner: Springfield: 217-782-0244 or Chicago: 312-814-2121.

Say No to Coal: Houston-based Dynegy Inc., the owner of 12 coal power plants in Illinois introduced new legislation - SB2250 - asking for a bailout to keep its uneconomical plants open. On top of this, IEPA is proposing new rulemaking that would reduce pollution control requirements for Dynegy's plants.

To Do: Seriously? Climate change is causing super hurricanes, tropical storms are hitting Ireland and forest fires are burning out the West Coast. Ask your legislators to oppose these climate-change fueling proposals.Deadline: Friday, November 10.

Override for Public Rides:SB789, which would help municipalities fund needed public transit infrastructure improvements, was vetoed by the Governor.

To Do: Urge your Representative and Senator to override the governor’s veto, so that you can take more rides on transit. Deadline: Friday, November 10.

Support Monarch Butterfly Habitat: HB685 would remove the classification for milkweed as a noxious or exotic weed. The bill passed the House back in March, so it needs to pass the Senate this week to go to the governor.

To Do: This bill could help more people, farms and businesses plant milkweed where it is currently outlawed. Milkweed is the only food source for monarch butterfly caterpillars. Without milkweed, there are no monarch butterflies. Call your Senator in support of this bill and ask the Governor to sign it. Deadline: Friday, November 10.