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Victory! Governor vetoes bad water bill

Sewer Manhole Cover by Hern Iron Works

Sewer Manhole Cover by Hern Iron Works

We did it!

More than 1,800 CUB Action Network members sent letters this year asking the General Assembly to oppose Senate Bill 1421— legislation that could have forced Illinois water customers to pay for services they never receive!

The legislation passed, but CUB didn’t give up. Bryan McDaniel, CUB director of governmental affairs, joined other opponents in writing letters asking the governor to oppose the measure. And we were happy to hear today that our hard work paid off: Gov. Bruce Rauner vetoed the bill!

The proposal would have allowed the state’s two largest water companies, Illinois American Water and Aqua Illinois, to petition state regulators to increase rates for all customers in order to repair sewer systems in other cities.  Customers who receive sewer services from their local government would have, in effect, been paying for sewage services twice!

We didn’t think that was fair— and neither did the governor.

In a letter to lawmakers explaining his decision to veto, Gov. Rauner wrote:

Whenever we permit utilities to pass on their costs to consumers, we should ensure that costs are passed to consumers who use and benefit from the particular services to the extent possible. Unfortunately, because not all consumers receive both their water and wastewater services from the same utility, Senate Bill 1421 would permit a public utility to pass on wastewater costs to consumers who do not receive wastewater services. This type of subsidy is not appropriate or necessary.

Thanks to everyone who sent the message: Hands off my water bill!