Illinois Energy Bill Means Good Jobs, Improved Grid
November 21, 2011
The Illinois state legislature overwhelmingly approved new “smart grid” legislation last month, giving a big boost to job creation and economic development throughout the state.
Says Springfield Local 51 Business Manager Jim Bates:
The initial investment will be funded by short-term hike rates, but the implementation of smart meters and infrastructure improvements will save ComEd customers $2.8 billion over 20 years, says the utility.
The Huffington Post reports:
The original legislation was vetoed by Gov. Pat Quinn in September, but a broad coalition of labor unions, environmental activists and business leaders pressured legislators to move forward on the bill.
Says Local 51 Assistant Business Manager John Johnson:
Utility locals throughout the state mobilized IBEW members to back the bill, including Chicago Local 9; Downers Grove Local 15; Rockford Local 196; Collinsville Local 309; Alton Local 649; West Frankfort Local 702; and St. Louis, Mo., Local 1455.
An improved version of the original legislation, which included more financial assistance for seniors and low-income customers, was passed with veto-proof majorities in both houses the week of Oct. 24.