CHICAGO (AP) ¿ Gov. Pat Quinn has named Chicago Alderman Manny Flores as the new chairman of the Illinois Commerce Commission.

Quinn announced the appointment Monday at a news conference in Chicago, calling Flores hard working and diligent. The governor says Flores will have a "strong voice" for consumers and focus on green initiatives. The ICC determines utility rates in Illinois.

Flores says he's humbled and honored by the appointment, and he calls it a "new challenge." Flores replaces Charles Box, whose term was to expire in January 2009. Box is the former mayor of Rockford.

The consumer advocacy group Citizens Utility Board calls Flores' appointment "good news" and say he's "proven to be a strong, independent, and fair voice for consumers."
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