Illinois General Assembly - Full Text of HR0007
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Full Text of HR0007  101st General Assembly




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2    WHEREAS, Access to employment, economic investment,
3economic mobility, and training opportunities are unequal
4across Illinois, with minority, low-income, environmental
5justice, and rural communities having less access to these
6opportunities; and
7    WHEREAS, Clean energy technologies present new economic
8opportunities, and the Future Energy Jobs Act creates the
9Illinois Solar for All program to train residents across
10Illinois, including persons with criminal records and foster
11care alumni, for jobs in the clean energy economy; and
12    WHEREAS, The Illinois State Commission on Criminal Justice
13and Sentencing Reform seeks to reduce the State's current
14prison population by 25% by 2025; and
15    WHEREAS, The Commission found that half of the persons with
16criminal records currently in Illinois prisons will likely
17re-enter prison within three years of release; and
18    WHEREAS, The Urban Justice Policy Center found in a study
19of Illinois that only 31% of those released from prison were
20employed within two months; and



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1    WHEREAS, High levels of unemployment correlate directly
2with violence in Illinois communities and recidivism; and
3    WHEREAS, The families and spouses of persons with criminal
4records are negatively and economically impacted and deserve
5good-paying jobs; and
6    WHEREAS, Wage gaps continue to exist based on gender and
7race, with Caucasian women earning 82 cents, African American
8women earning 65 cents, and Hispanic women earning 58 cents for
9every dollar earned by Caucasian men in hourly wages; and
10    WHEREAS, Higher recidivism rates lead to higher
11incarceration rates and costs for Illinois taxpayers; and
12    WHEREAS, Educational and vocational training for persons
13with criminal records is a gateway to break the cycle of
14incarceration and is critical to reduce violence and recidivism
15rates; and
16    WHEREAS, All people desire to live in safe neighborhoods,
17with access to public land, clean air, drinkable water, good
18health, and to be empowered through work; and
19    WHEREAS, Addressing environmental justice has been a
20national priority for over two decades, as first outlined in



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11994 in Executive Order 12898 on Federal Actions to Address
2Environmental Justice in Minority Populations and Low-Income
3Populations; and
4    WHEREAS, President Obama reaffirmed the necessity of
5working for a healthy environment for all communities in a
6Proclamation on the 20th Anniversary of the Executive Order;
8    WHEREAS, Illinois upholds the commitment to ensure that no
9community disproportionately bears the burden of pollution or
10environmental degradation through the Illinois Environmental
11Protection Agency Commission on Environmental Justice; and
12    WHEREAS, Communities of color and
13economically-disadvantaged communities have historically
14shouldered the burdens of pollution and its toxic impacts on
15health, air, water, and land; and
16    WHEREAS, The United States Department of Health and Human
17Services Office of Minority Health reports that African
18American children are four times as likely as non-Hispanic
19Caucasian children to be admitted to the hospital for an asthma
20attack and 10 times as likely to die from one; and
21    WHEREAS, Growing the clean energy economy through the jobs



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1and investments set forth in the Future Energy Jobs Act is
2vital to reducing asthma-causing air pollution and carbon
3emissions that contribute to climate change; and
4    WHEREAS, Lack of investment in stormwater infrastructure
5causes basement flooding, sewer backups, and water
6contamination that disproportionately affect
7economically-disadvantaged communities; and
8    WHEREAS, Lack of access to fresh, local, healthy food
9causes poor health outcomes such as obesity, diabetes, and
10heart disease throughout communities of color and
11economically-disadvantaged communities; and
12    WHEREAS, Communities of color face barriers of access to
13green open space and the health and recreational benefits
14provided therein; and
15    WHEREAS, Economically-challenged communities across
16Illinois - urban, semi-urban, and rural - together face
17environmental injustices; and
18    WHEREAS, Illinois has the ability to equip our labor force
19with skills for the future, protect public health, and be
20faithful stewards of the planet and our many resources; and



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1    WHEREAS, Existing funds from the Renewable Energy
2Resources Fund allow the implementation of the Solar-for-All
3Program to meet its statutory goals, creating 2,000 jobs for
4persons with records and foster care alumni in the clean energy
5economy by 2030 by offering incentives to companies to hire
6trainees; therefore, be it
9we work together to create an environmental justice agenda that
10creates clean energy jobs that are accessible to all, addresses
11gender inequities and income disparities as we move toward a
12green economy, reduces recidivism rates while curbing climate
13change, and shapes policy that addresses the adverse and
14disproportionate impacts of climate change upon communities of
15color and economically-disadvantaged communities; and be it
17    RESOLVED, That funds in the Renewable Energy Resource Fund,
18which were paid for by Illinois electric customers, must be
19preserved and maintained for the Illinois Solar-for-All
20program, as established by the Future Energy Jobs Act, and
21protected from sweeps, interagency transfers, chargebacks, or
22other reallocation of those funds away from their statutory