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Working hard for consumers in Springfield

Legislative update by Bryan McDaniel, CUB Director of Governmental Affairs

A cold, snowy winter isn’t going to stop CUB from advocating on your behalf at the state Capitol.

During the summer months I attend CUB outreach events in order to experience firsthand the best part of working at CUB, helping people, and importantly hearing your stories and frustrations with alternative gas and electric suppliers and utility service. I carry your stories with me to Springfield as I fight on your behalf. You are the fuel that keeps me going when I’m badly outnumbered and up against the utilities, suppliers, telecom companies, cable providers and their ilk.

Thank you, we are going to need you again this year, because we have started some fights we need your help to finish.

In addition to supporting the Clean Energy Jobs Act, CUB has worked with legislators to file three bills this spring:

  • Working with state Rep. Sonya Harper, we have filed legislation (House Bill 3044) to slow down the Peoples Gas infrastructure work. To say Chicago gas bills are becoming unaffordable would be an understatement. The scary thing is the company is not anywhere near close to finished with the project and gas bills are already bad news. CUB is hopeful this is the year the General Assembly addresses a wildly out-of-control and unaffordable spending spree.
  • State Rep. John Connor filed legislation (HB 2392) to require a referendum of voters before a municipality could privatize its water and sewer distribution system under the accelerated process that passed the General Assembly this past fall. Aqua Illinois and Illinois American Water really don’t like this bill. Private water attempts to take, and is sometimes successful in taking, referendums out of law around the country. CUB believes people should have a voice in the future of such a valuable asset.
  • State Rep. Anna Moeller (HB 2657) and state Sen. Laura Ellman (Senate Bill 1631) filed legislation to combat electric and gas suppliers and their predatory ways this spring as well. When I am in the Capitol and even when writing this I think of all the gas and electric meters that are spinning all the time, meanwhile the customer is paying double, triple, quadruple, or even quintuple for their energy, thanks to a thieving gas or electric supplier. It makes me sick to think about, but it also spurs me on. Please took a look at your bill and make sure you aren’t paying more than the utility price. Also, check on your friends and neighbors. Most of them don’t know the utility price to compare, so share it with your friends, you may save some of them a bunch of money.

Thank you for reading. Let’s hope for a good session for consumers. Be prepared to take action in the coming weeks.