Governor vetoes bipartisan nuclear legislation

On Aug. 11, Gov. JB Pritzker issued a full veto of Senate Bill 76, which would have ended Illinois’ decades-old ban on the construction of advanced nuclear reactors.

Senate Bill 76, filed by Republican State Senator Sue Rezin, garnered strong bipartisan support, receiving a 36-14 vote in the Senate and an 84-22 vote in the House of Representatives. Despite the wide margins of passage, the Governor’s veto message cited his concerns that the definition of an advanced nuclear reactor was “overly broad” and could allow for the building of large nuclear facilities.

In response to the Governor’s veto, proponents of Senate Bill 76 pointed out that the legislation was amended before its final passage to narrowly define what constitutes an advanced nuclear reactor using federal law with the intent that only small modular reactors could be built.

Additionally, State Senator Sue Rezin says this legislation would have assisted in Illinois’ ongoing energy goals to build a cleaner, stronger, and more robust power supply. Unfortunately, wind and solar alone cannot fulfill the state’s needs, and this legislation would have helped bridge the gap, added Senator Rezin.

Senator Rezin hopes that Senate and House leadership will allow the bill to be called for an override vote during the upcoming fall Veto Session.

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