Durbin, Duckworth Secure Key Illinois Priorities In Senate-Passed Inflation Reduction Act
The bill will cut prescription drug costs, lower energy costs, and create millions of new jobs
WASHINGTON – U.S. Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-IL) and U.S. Senator Tammy Duckworth (D-IL) secured key provisions for Illinois in the Senate-passed Inflation Reduction Act. These priorities include investing in domestic energy production and manufacturing right here in the U.S., reducing carbon emissions by roughly 40 percent by 2030, investing in clean energy tax credits, lowering prescription drugs, extending the Affordable Care Act subsidies, and more.
“The Inflation Reduction Act is a win for Illinois,” said Durbin. “This bill will lower the price of prescription drugs and healthcare, reduce the deficit, and invest in American energy to both address climate change and bring down energy bills. Due to the expanded ACA subsidies, nearly 300,000 Illinoisans will be protected from loss of health coverage or premium hikes, and it creates new good-paying clean energy jobs in Illinois.”
“This is a big deal: Senate Democrats—without a single Republican vote—passed historic changes that will put working Illinoisans first by helping them save money on prescription drugs, fighting inflation, tackling the climate crisis to protect our planet for future generations, cutting the deficit by hundreds of billions and helping ensure megacorporations pay their fair share,” said Duckworth. “And we did it all in a way that protects every working family making less than $400,000 from seeing their taxes increase. This is going to have a real, positive impact on so many families in every corner of Illinois, and I’m proud to have helped get it done.”
Lowering Prescription Drug Prices:
- The IRA caps out-of-pocket costs for insulin at $35/month for Medicare beneficiaries. More than 1 million Illinois residents have been diagnosed with diabetes.
- The IRA allows Medicare to negotiate the price of prescription drugs, to bring down the price beneficiaries pay for their medications. It also requires drug companies to offer a rebate when the companies increase the price of their medications higher than the rate of inflation. About 1.8 million Illinois seniors are enrolled in Medicare Part D.
- The IRA caps Medicare seniors’ annual prescription drug prices at $2,000 per year (approximately $170 per month). In Illinois, 59,000 Medicare seniors who pay more than $2,000/year on prescription drugs stand to benefit from this provision.
- The IRA ensures that Medicare seniors have access to free vaccines. In Illinois, 125,000 Medicare seniors stand to benefit from this provision.
Health Insurance Subsidies:
- The IRA includes a 3-year extension (until 2025) of the Affordable Care Act subsidies Democrats expanded as part of the American Rescue Plan, protecting nearly 300,000 Illinoisans from loss of coverage or premium hikes.
- By including $3 billion for a first-of-its-kind Environmental Justice (EJ) Block Grant program, the IRA will help deliver for communities that have been ignored for too long. EJ communities throughout Illinois will be able to use these grants for air pollution remediation, mitigating health risks from extreme heat, reducing indoor toxins and much more. The program also reserves $200 million for technical assistance to help these communities apply for and use these funds.
- The IRA includes $117 million in grants for fenceline air monitoring and increased air monitoring that will help communities in Illinois that are facing or have faced airborne toxins.
- Wind and Solar Tax Credits: The IRA extends the wind and solar production tax credits (PTC) and investment tax credits (ITC) for 10 years. The ITC will allow utility scale developers to recoup as much as 30% of eligible project costs for new wind and solar development. The Illinois Solar Energy Association has indicated that the bill will foster thousands of megawatts of new solar in Illinois over the coming decade. New wind and solar development will be statewide, as southern Illinois’ flat geography is ideal for large-scale solar and wind installations.
- Nuclear and Hydrogen Tax Credits: The IRA creates a PTC for nuclear energy and a PTC for hydrogen which would pave the way for Constellation to extend the operating licenses for all its Illinois nuclear reactors by 20 years, generating more than 250 million person-hours and preserving 6,000 high-paying jobs for Illinois families.
- States and Utilities: The IRA includes a further $30 billion in targeted grants and loans for states and utilities to accelerate the transition to clean electricity. Illinois is uniquely positioned to qualify for these grants and loans, as last year the state passed the Climate and Equitable Jobs Act (CEJA), placing Illinois at the forefront of state climate policy.
- Port Pollution: The IRA provides $3 billion for reducing air pollution at ports, which could directly benefit Chicago and other Illinois freshwater ports.
- Household efficiency: IRA includes 10 years of tax credits for individuals to install clean technologies in their homes, including: efficient windows ($600) and doors ($500); heat pumps and heat pump water heaters ($2,000); biomass stoves and boilers ($2,000); and rooftop solar (Up to 30%), as well as incentives to become a qualified Energy Property ($600). All of these credits could benefit Illinois homeowners as they invest in household efficiency.
- The IRA provides $14 billion, which includes $2 billion for farms and rural small businesses to make clean energy upgrades, and $9.65 billion for electric coops to transition to cleaner renewable power generation There are 24 electric coops and 5 power generation and distribution coops that serve Illinois which stand to benefit from this investment assistance.
Electric Vehicles (EV):
- The IRA expands and extends the $7,500 EV credit to include all “clean” vehicles, like hydrogen, and eliminates the manufacturer limit on the number of vehicles that can qualify.
- The IRA establishes a $4,000 credit for the purchase of qualifying used EVs
- The IRA includes a $10 billion ITC to accelerate the development of clean technology manufacturing, including for facilities that build EVs
- The IRA provides $1 billion for clean medium and heavy-duty vehicle manufacturing, training, and acquisition.
- This bill provides $500 million to expand the number of service stations that offer low-carbon ethanol and biodiesel, made from Illinois corn and soybeans—the bill also has incentives to make these low-carbon biofuels even lower-carbon than today. These climate-smart investments in Midwestern-grown fuels will reduce our reliance on Middle Eastern oil.
- The IRA extends the biodiesel and renewable diesel tax credits, providing planning and manufacturing certainty for Illinois biodiesel production and soybeans markets while incenting lower-carbon production technologies Illinois is fourth in biodiesel production with six biodiesel plants. About 90 percent of Illinois diesel retailers sell biodiesel.
- This bill provides USDA with a $20 billion increase in voluntary incentives for farmers to adopt practices that cut costs like fertilizer and creates new carbon reductions and markets like expanding cover crops, all of which will increase the value of the corn and soybeans in the global marketplace.
- The IRA helps airlines reduce their carbon footprint by creating an incentive for new jet fuel made from low-carbon biofuels—so future travelers from O’Hare and Midway will be flying on aircraft that run on climate friendly fuels.
- The IRA includes $2 billion for the National Labs, including $600 million for the High Energy Physics Program, which directly supports projects at Illinois’ Fermilab and Argonne National Labs.
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