March 14, 2011
To the Honorable Members of the
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
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
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
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
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.