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Compromise still evades Illinois lawmakers over electric rates

By Sean Crawford, IL Public Radio

Springfield, Ill. – A stalemate over Illinois electric rates continues and there's no indication the different sides are ready to compromise.

Large power rate increases took effect the first of the year for customers of Commonwealth Edison, Ameren and their subsidiaries.

Legislative leaders remain apart on how best to handle the situation. The Senate approved a plan that allows for rate hikes to be phased in over three years.

But House Speaker Mike Madigan opposes it, pointing out in a newly released memo that customers will pay an interest charge, costing them more in the long run.

Madigan and his Democratic colleague, Senate President Emil Jones, apparently are communicating through memos, leading to speculation that their working relationship is strained.

When the legislature returns to Springfield this weekend, the House could take up a rate freeze, which would hold cost of electricity steady. But it appears Senate leadership has no interest in that approach.


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