(The Center Square) – The University of Illinois Extension recently provided an update on the upcoming state budget, new laws and their effect on Illinois counties.
One law will require passenger vehicles purchased or leased by the state to either be a manufactured zero-emission vehicle or converted into a zero-emission vehicle by 2030. Exceptions will be made for law enforcement and Illinois Department of Transportation vehicles.
Taylor Anderson from the Illinois Association of County Board Members said fortunately, local governments are also excluded from the measure.
“Let’s make sure that local governments have the infrastructure and the help they need to get that infrastructure in place before we start mandating what type of vehicles our local public bodies have to buy,” said Anderson.
Anderson said counties should eventually benefit from a law that lifts a moratorium on new nuclear reactors once small modular reactors, or SMRs, are put into use.
“We’ll need some real thought on how this could impact a county, how a county might want to zone for this, and what kind of training and things personnel might need to have in order to respond to this,” said Anderson.
SMRs, which produce less than 300 megawatts of power, will be allowed in Illinois beginning in January 2026.
Anderson warns that the state’s budget situation will not be as easy to deal with as in the past couple years.
“The numbers we’re starting to see for that are far less rosy than the last year’s budget picture,” said Anderson. “Right now we’re looking at a pretty significant deficit and so we’re not anticipating the budgetary process to be as smooth this upcoming fiscal year as it was for our current fiscal year.”
Gov. J.B. Pritzker is scheduled to deliver the State of the State and budget address on Wednesday, Feb. 21.