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Illinois Electric Rate Hike Bill Vetoed


Governor Pat Quinn vetoed legislation that would have eased the way for increases in electric rates. But it's not the first time he's opposed this sort of thing and the legislature has so far been able to work around him.

The legislation applies to Illinois' big electric utilities: Ameren and ComEd. They're trying to secure a rate hike in order to pay for upgrading their power distribution system to what they're calling a "smart grid."

Normally, the utilities have to go through a state regulator, but that agency has said no to rate hikes. So ComEd and Ameren have been trying a different strategy, according to Quinn.

"The utilities, every time now that they get an adverse decision from the Illinois Commerce Commission, they run off to the legislature and try and overrule it. This isn't healthy at all,” Quinn said at a news conference in Chicago, where he made a show of brandishing what he described as his official veto stamp.

But the rate hike legislation passed both the House and Senate with more than enough votes to overrule Quinn's veto, and supporters are expected to try again.