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More than 60 co-op leaders representing 24 Illinois electric cooperatives gathered in Springfield on May 2 for Lobby Day to meet with state senators and representatives to advocate for the electric co-op program.

“It is important to engage with our elected officials to discuss the issues impacting our co-op and our consumer members,” said Mike Casper, president & CEO of Jo-Carroll Energy. “Lobby Day provides a great opportunity to advocate for our co-op priorities, share the impact of proposed legislation and tell our co-op story.”

Jo-Carrol board chairman David Senn, director of broadband operations Jesse Shekleton and attorney Terry Kurt also traveled to Springfield with Casper to meet with State Senators Neil Anderson and Andrew Chesney and State Representatives Tony McCombie and Ryan Spain. Co-op leaders discussed the importance of legislation that promotes a diversified mix of electric generating assets that will ensure safe, affordable, and reliable power.

“We also shared ongoing supply chain challenges that impede the ability of access to key components and materials that result in reliability concerns,” Casper said.

“Besides electric, we shared the importance of other energy sources to our member-consumers, such as natural gas and the importance of high-speed internet for our agriculture producers, businesses, and our homes to stay competitive with our urban counterparts,” he continued. “Electric co-ops want to work toward meaningful solutions to address any challenges our co-ops and rural areas face.”