Lawmakers override Quinn veto of ‘Smart Grid’

May 22, 2013

The Illinois General Assembly has overridden Governor Pat Quinn's veto of legislation that addresses so-called "Smart Grid" technology.

ComEd and Ameren pushed the bill to clarify 2011 legislation allowing the utilities to raise rates to fund a high-tech system. But the Illinois Commerce Commission disagreed with the utilities over implementation. ComEd filed an appeal over technical matters and faces a lawsuit over installation delays.

Democratic Representative Lou Lang, of Skokie, says the proposal clears some of the problems.

 "I know when the governor vetoed this bill, he did it very emphatically. And he said the General Assembly should not get in the way of the Commerce Commission. But I have a different story to tell: the story is that the Commerce Commission does not make public policy in this state, the Illinois General Assembly makes public policy, and they ought to follow the policy we set."

 The Illinois House voted 71 to 41 Wednesday to again approve the legislation. The Senate approved it for a second time on Tuesday. Quinn vetoed it May 6, saying the proposal weakened oversight and forced automatic rate hikes.The legislation becomes law immediately with this week's legislative action.