- Associated Press - Thursday, April 3, 2014

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) - The Illinois House has defeated a provision that would have eliminated a requirement that public schools include education about using Illinois coal.

The measure from Villa Park Democratic Rep. Deb Conroy failed 54-61.

Opponents viewed the measure as an attack on Illinois coal production and use. Native coal has a reputation as being “dirty” - or high in sulfur - but technology has improved its viability. The state is exporting more today than in the past.

The Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity says the program costs $50,000 a year, including $35,000 for the schools portion.

Conroy says schools could still teach students about coal.

The legislation also would remove public service announcements and outreach to the media.

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The bill is HB5660.

Online: http://www.ilga.gov