CHICAGO, May 5, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- AARP commends Governor Pat Quinn for his veto of Senate Bill 9 and urges the General Assembly to uphold it.
"AARP applauds Governor Quinn's decision to veto this premature and bad public policy that has nothing to do with infrastructure development or service improvement and everything to do with higher profits for the utility companies," said AARP Illinois State Director Bob Gallo. "AARP is adamantly opposed to the Illinois legislature's attempts to tip the legislative and regulatory balance in favor of the utility companies, allowing them to continue to dig deeper into consumers' pockets, and we are inviting our members and all Illinois consumers to join us in fighting against these unfair and unwarranted rate hikes."
SB 9 is follow up to the controversial 2011 legislation (SB1652) passed by the Illinois General Assembly writing utility company profits into state law by guaranteeing companies a return on equity of over 10 percent, and nearly automatic annual rate increases.
SB 9 further tilts the balance in favor of Illinois utility companies by allowing them to circumvent Illinois' regulatory process and avoid paying back a multi-million dollar rate cut ordered by the Illinois Commerce Commission last year. The language in SB 9 allows ComEd and Ameren to not only avoid paying refunds to consumers; it allows them to instead receive a retroactive rate hike with interest.Illinois General Assembly passage of SB9 was premature since the utility's objections to the ICC rate cut decision are currently under consideration by the Illinois Appellate Court. SB9 also further ties the hands of the ICC by deeming ComEd and Ameren to be in compliance with their promised performance metrics, despite ComEd's delayed implementation of smart meters.