Lawmakers introduce House Bill 1750 which would return electric rates to last year's levels and require utility companies to repay the increases their residential customers have paid since January 1.I haven't really been following this news but watching the video I see the passion of downstate Rep. John Bradley of Marion. He's passionate about how utility rates are affecting his constituents. The elderly, homeowners, and even small businesses. A lot of figures being thrown around.
As I understand correctly this issue came up during the veto session late last year sometime after the election and an agreement on utility rates couldn't be reached. With utility companies wanting to raise their rates because they claimed that they would suffer under a rate freeze, while a rate freeze would be relief towards those who can't keep up with the utility rates.
Surely but slowly though in Illinois, winter is going to turn into spring the weather will warm up. The thing is though that the weather isn't likely to get that much warmer. And while there are plenty of scare tactics on the side of rate freezes, this is an issue that requires a good discussion.
I'm torn on this myself. While I can easily support the fact that utilities should raise their rates to whatever they think is important (you know the whole market thing) if they get out of control to the point where people aren't easily able to pay something should be done. Well perhaps I'll look into this issue a little but more closely.
The Illinois House of Representatives are to be convened as a Committee of the Whole (no doubt a parliamentary procedural term) on the subject of electric deregulation on February 27th, 2006 at 1PM. I intend to follow this more closely.