March 14, 2011
To the Honorable Members of the
96th General Assembly:
In accordance with Article IV, Section 9(b) of the Illinois Constitution, I hereby veto Senate Bill 3388 from the 96th General Assembly.
Though I do not approve of the bill before me, I do acknowledge the hard work of Senator Donne Trotter and Representative Marlow Colvin. They have worked hard to move our State forward and I am appreciative of their efforts.
Our State is in the midst of an impressive recovery from the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression. We have witnessed twelve straight months of declining unemployment and, in 2010, added more jobs than any other state in the Midwest. Throughout Illinois, many hard-working men and women have returned to the work force and been able to provide for their families. Still, there is more to do, and I remain committed to seeing our State through to a full recovery.
During these difficult times, it is tempting to pursue short-term solutions. But, as Governor, it is my job to ensure that the decisions we make today benefit Illinoisans for years to come. Higher energy prices for consumers and additional burdens for businesses will not help our State achieve long-term economic success.
To ensure a prosperous Illinois for today and tomorrow, we must utilize strategic and appropriate incentives for the development of affordable and sustainable forms of energy. We must marshal every resource at our disposal to create an Illinois where businesses have the opportunity to harness the power of wind, solar, and biomass, while exploring cleaner options for utilizing coal to benefit the citizens of our State. Our economy will not continue to grow unless the sustainability of our environment and our economy are inextricably linked.
In the coming weeks, the General Assembly will consider measures that deal with our State’s energy infrastructure. These measures must promote a diverse energy portfolio for the State. Our priorities must be economic growth, consumer protection, environmental quality and a comprehensive approach to energy generation and efficiency.
The bill before me today does not fully achieve these goals.
This bill exposes citizens throughout Illinois to the long-term risks of fluctuating energy prices. To ensure greater consumer protection, consumers should be given full priority to access any reserve account and a more substantial financial commitment to the account should be made.
By requiring utilities to enter substantially equal sourcing agreements, this bill also places the burden of higher energy costs on a small group of residential consumers.
Inadequate consumer protections and high energy costs will not create jobs in Illinois. Until I am satisfied that consumers are protected, burdens are shared, and jobs are created, I will not affix my signature to this bill.
There will be no easy answer that solves all our energy needs. The energy of the past must be developed cleaner and more efficiently, while we invest in the energy of the future.
Therefore, pursuant to Article IV, Section 9(b) of the Illinois Constitution of 1970, I hereby return Senate Bill 3388, entitled “AN ACT concerning regulation” vetoed in its entirety with this statement of objections.