Gov. Quinn today vetoed a bill (Senate Bill 1652) that would have given Illinois' utility companies automatic rate hikes every year for the next decade.
Pat Quinn (David Banks~AP)
Critics didn't like the guaranteed profit rate for ComEd and the revised regulatory structure the bill would have created.
Back in May, ICC Chairman Doug Scott wrote: "This bill makes the ratepayers bear the burden; not just residential customers, but businesses as well, which may affect their own decisions."
At a news conference today with Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan, Quinn called the legislation a "nightmare" for consumers.
ComEd says the $3 billion, 10-year plan would have allowed the creation of a "smart grid" that would monitor energy use and reduce rates. But Quinn and Madigan have been calling the bill a "blank check" for ComEd.
A press release from the governor's office said, "The legislation would strike more than 100 years of Illinois consumer protection law and weaken the oversight ability of the Illinois Commerce Commission to reign in excessive rate hikes that will heavily burden consumers and disproportionately harm seniors, minorities and low-incomes households. Without adequate oversight and effective performance metrics, Illinois ratepayers will be forced to pay billions in rate hikes, while potentially receiving the same subpar service they have for many years."
Since May, ComEd has agreed to numerous changes in the legislation, but opponents say the changes are insufficient.
Sponsors have said they will try to override Quinn's veto.
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