State News
7:17 am
Wed May 22, 2013

Senate overrides Governor's veto of smart grid legislation

The Illinois Senate Tuesday voted to override Governor Pat Quinn's veto of so-called smart grid legislation. As IPR'S Brian Mackey reports, it was yet another display of ComEd's power over the Illinois General Assembly.

When the Chicago-land electric utility ComEd did not like the way the state regulator was handling its request to charge customers more money, it pleaded its case to the legislature. Lawmakers obliged by superseding the regulator, but earlier this month, Gov. Quinn vetoed the legislation.

A little more than two weeks later, the Senate was back at it, overriding the governor's veto on a vote of 44-11. Here's what some lawmakers said in opposition to ComEd:

(pause)

Just kidding, lawmakers don't speak against ComEd. So we go to Scott Musser, AARP's man in Springfield.He says the legislation would let ComEd collect past rate increases it believes it deserved, with interest, and says they're in compliance with upgrades they promised even though Musser says it looks like they're behind on that.

"So basically we've let them off the hook for their promises, and then also gave them a nice big bonus on top of that."

ComEd  and Ameren, which are big political donors in Springfield, say the higher rates are needed to pay for updgrades to the state's electric grid.