Members of Montgomery County along with State Senator Andy Manar are working to help families affected by the Coffeen and Canton power plant closures. When the Coffeen Power plant closed nearly a year ago, Senator Manar had already started working on ways to help the families and local government figure out a way forward.
Senator Manar knows that this is not a quick fix. “We know from firsthand experience that the coal industry has been a key cog in the downstate economy for decades. But, we also know that we have to be realistic when it comes to the industry’s current condition. Welcoming solar energy infrastructure would create jobs and undo some of the damage done to the local economies in Coffeen and Canton, but that’s not an immediate solution to the problems these people have right now.”
One proposal that Senator Manar is pushing for includes property tax assessments on coal, gas, and nuclear plants to be frozen at pre-closure rates for five years. The plan would also ensure local governments and school districts would have a consistent source of revenue and protect those who are laid off from a plant or mine with extra unemployment benefits.
Senator Manar is hoping to put together a package for energy legislation this fall.