Tuesday, May 10, 2011
Quinn Promises Veto For Smart Grid
Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn Monday once again promised to veto controversial legislation headed for a vote in Springfield. Quinn said he would not sign the Smart Grid legislation, which promises newer technology from Illinois electric companies.
Smart Grid would give ComEd and downstate Ameren automatic rate increases. Ameren's customers would pay an extra $5 a year. ComEd's customers would pay an extra $36 a year. But the companies would be required to spend millions on a new power grid, new meters, and new automatic technology.
Lawmakers, the Illinois Attorney General's office, the Illinois Commerce Commission and consumer advocates have been meeting for months as they try to reach an agreement before the end of the spring legislative session. But Monday's at a news conference Quinn said he now wants everyone to go back to the bargaining table
Smart Grid's legislative sponsor, state Rep. Kevin McCarthy, D-Orland Park, said the governor didn't need to wait for a news conference to take a position. "This is pretty late in the session. And many times in the past I've seen (proposals) get weighed down so heavy that they collapse from the own weight," said McCarthy.
McCarthy said he's been saying for months that lawmakers, advocates or anyone else who has problem with the Smart Grid plan should call him and let him know. McCarthy said he'd only heard rumors from Quinn's office before Monday's news conference.
Quinn said he now hopes to start work on a new version of Smart Grid. "We have time, this month, really to negotiate something that is in their interest, the consumer's interest, and the workers' interest in Illinois," said Quinn.
McCarthy said the plan is still a work in progress, but added that the final version may not be what the governor wants. And McCarthy said Quinn's veto might not change that. "I think if these last few things come together, in an agreeable manner, I think we'll get a vote that is over the 71 that'll be needed (to override a veto)," said McCarthy.
You can read Ben's full report at: http://illinois.statehousenewsonline.com/5969/quinn-promises-veto-of-smart-grid/
In the pic: A Com Ed pilot program "smarty meter".