Rep. Haas bill for Pembroke Township clears first hurdle, passes out of committee

KANKAKEE, IL…This afternoon, State Rep. Jackie Haas (R-Kankakee) presented her first bill before committee for the first time as a lawmaker. House Bill 3404 specifically addresses the energy accessibility concerns of Pembroke Township. Upon the bill’s passage, Rep. Haas released the following statement:

“I am pleased to report that this important legislation was approved by the House Public Utilities Committee. The bill has bipartisan support from local, state and federal government officials because it makes a decades-old dream of extending a natural gas pipeline into Pembroke Township a reality. Residents lack utilities and services that so many of us take for granted. Currently, they rely on propane, wood-burning stoves and electrical space heaters. Natural gas is both an economic driver for underdeveloped communities—keeping residential fuel costs affordable and attracting new businesses–and environmentally, a major contributor to global emissions reductions. Providing safe, reliable and clean energy to Pembroke Township presents a unique opportunity to chart a better trajectory for our neighbors who have to this point been left behind.”

Next, the bill will be considered by the full chamber on the House floor. 

On background:

  • Pembroke Township is located in the eastern section of the 79th legislative district, on the Illinois-Indiana border. It is a rural area known to have many disparities—limited access to jobs, services, little to no economic development, and food deserts chief among them. 
  • According to 2019 Census estimates, there are about 1,700 residents with a median income of $18,900. 
  • A steering committee headed by Hopkins Park Mayor Mark Hodge has met for nearly two years to address the following issues: energy accessibility, economic development, infrastructure, funding and grants, and broadband connectivity. Committee stakeholders include State Rep. Haas, State Sen. Patrick Joyce (D-Park Forest), Rev. Jesse Jackson and the Rainbow PUSH Coalition, Nicor Gas, county elected officials and chambers of commerce, local business owners and residents.