Rauner signs bill saving Exelon plants

New law protects two nuclear plants and 4,200 jobs

By Krista Burris | kburris@whbf.com

Published 12/07 2016 06:33PM

Updated 12/07 2016 06:33PM

Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner showed up in Port Byron today to sign the bill Exelon fought to have become law.
It saves the company's Quad Cities nuclear power plant and the jobs that go with hit.
"It's huge. It's a well paying job for one. Not having to worry about finding another job, moving. All the stress that comes with that. It's a great feeling," said Exelon Worker Nate Cleveland. 
That relief comes after Rauner signed the Future Energy Jobs Bill.
Two years of lobbying by workers like Nate Cleveland, and negotiations between state leaders and the two companies involved, Exelon and Commonwealth Edison, helped make it happen.
About 500 people packed the Riverdale high school gym, to thank Rauner and legislators for their efforts.
Terry black has worked for Exelon for 22 years, and says this day has been a long time coming. 
"It's been a pretty stressful two years for us. We've got a lot of friends and families who have been going through the thoughts of having to move and pick up their family, change schools. A lot of them have really young kids. Some of them have high school kids, and those are real big challenges to move those families with those children," said Black. 
Exelon leaders say 4200 jobs rely on Exelon plants in Cordova and Clinton.
That impact is what got many state leaders on board, including governor Rauner.
"I refused to gamble on thousands of good paying jobs. I refused to gamble on the future of the communities in the Quad Cities and Central Illinois, and I refuse to gamble on the energy diversity and options for the people of Illinois. That's why I fought to make sure this bill happened," said Rauner. 
State Senator Neil Anderson says he's been working to get this bill passed since the beginning.
"It really  became a personal issue for me and I could not be happier for all of you here today, and could not be happier for the 800," said Anderson.
Exelon workers say they're just ready move forward and continue doing the work they love.
"all the emotions of possibly losing that job, and to have them come in, in the eleventh hour here and Governor Rauner signing it today, that's a really, really big event for our site," said Black. 

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