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Report for America is a national service program that places journalists into local newsrooms to report on under-covered issues and communities.

Pritzker Visits Rockford, Talks Energy

Juanpablo Ramirez-Franco
Governor J.B. Pritzker at Rockford City Market

Illinois lawmakers wrapped up their budget business this week, successfully passing a $42 billion dollar plan for the coming year.  But talks surrounding a nuclear bailout continue.   



Pritzker says the state’s negotiations with Exelon, the state’s largest nuclear station operator, are still underway. 

“What I can tell you is that that deal will help keep all of the nuclear plants open,” said Pritzker, “Which helps us with our clean energy plans for the future.”


Exelon announced plans last fall to shutter the Byron and Dresden power plants if the state failed to deliver subsidies. 


As part of the federal probe into ComEd, a subsidiary of Exelon, prosecutors announced last week charges related to perjury and obstruction of justice against Tim Mapes. Mapes is a former executive director of the Democratic Party of Illinois and was chief of staff to Illinois Speaker of the House Michael Madigan.


The Governor says he hopes to wrap up talks with the energy giant as soon as possible -- and he remains hopeful an agreement can be reached. 


  • Juanpablo Ramirez-Franco is a current corps member for Report for America, an initiative of the GroundTruth Project which is a national service program that places talented journalists in local newsrooms.
Juanpablo covers environmental, substandard housing and police-community relations. He’s been a bilingual facilitator at the StoryCorps office in Chicago. As a civic reporting fellow at City Bureau, a non-profit news organization that focuses on Chicago’s South Side, Ramirez-Franco produced print and audio stories about the Pilsen neighborhood. Before that, he was a production intern at the Third Coast International Audio Festival and the rural America editorial intern at In These Times magazine. Ramirez-Franco grew up in northern Illinois. He is a graduate of Knox College.