General Assembly Sides with Utility Companies in 2013 Legislative Session
As an Illinois consumer, you may already be struggling
with skyrocketing utility costs - and the General Assembly didn't do you any favors in 2013, siding with the profit interests of the major Illinois utility companies on three pieces of legislation - all of which will mean higher rates for you.
Senate Bill 9: The General Assembly overrode the Governor's veto of Senate Bill 9 - a bill which reverses a decision by the Illinois Commerce Commission to cut ComEd's rates by $133 million. ComEd customers must now pay those refunds back to ComEd, retroactively with interest. The bill also lets ComEd off the hook for failing to meet certain performance standards agreed to in their "smart grid" bill of 2011 (Public Act 97-0616). Senate Bill 9 is now law - Public Act 98-0015.
Senate Bill 2266: The General Assembly also passed Senate Bill 2266 - a bill that will result in higher natural gas rates for Peoples Gas, Ameren and Nicor Gas customers. The bill allows these natural gas companies to raise your rates by up to 4% every year for the next decade. The bill also allows Ameren to charge customers for the installation of natural gas smart meters. Despite the opposition of AARP and other consumer groups, Governor Quinn signed the bill into law on July 5, 2013.
House Bill 1379: This bill, also passed in 2013 by the General Assembly, will mean higher water rates for many Illinois consumers. Under the bill, private water companies, American Water and Aqua Illinois, will be allowed to acquire other water companies and charge new and current customers higher rates to fund those acquisitions. Again, despite opposition from AARP and other consumer groups, Governor Quinn signed House Bill 1379 into law on August 9, 2013.
Want to know how your legislators voted on these issues? Click here to find out!
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