Utilities

  • The Majority Report 06/22/20 - A need for utility, housing instability and small business assistance

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    Lightford and other Black leaders host Juneteenth march for justice and police accountability

    Senate Majority Leader Kimberly A. LightfordBROADVIEW — Communities in the West Suburbs came together on Juneteenth to celebrate both the end of slavery and to continue the fight for justice, equality and police accountability.

    Senate Majority Leader Kimberly A. Lightford (D-Maywood) was joined by West Suburban Mayors Katrina Thompson, Andre Harvey, Edwenna Perkins, Rory Hoskins and other elected officials on Friday for a Juneteenth Police Accountability Protest.

    Lightford not only wanted to shine a light on Juneteenth, Freedom Day for slaves in America, but she also calls for police accountability after seeing Chicago police officers sleeping on the job in Congressman Bobby Rush’s office on the South Side of Chicago.

    Read more.

     


    Hastings: Utility assistance needed for COVID-19 recovery

    Electric MeterFRANKFORT — The Illinois Commerce Commission announced the decision to approve several consumer protection measures during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, many of which State Senator Michael E. Hastings (D-Frankfort) called for as leader of the Senate’s Energy and Public Utilities working group this past legislative session.

    “Throughout March and April, I met with my colleagues on the Senate’s Energy and Public Utilities working group and numerous stakeholders. Our charge was very simple: we had to arrive at a solution to protect consumers,” Hastings said. “I’m thankful that Chairman Zalewski and the ICC listened to our recommendations, allowing us to arrive at a helpful solution.”

    Read more.

     


    Aquino: Help is on the way for people and businesses affected by COVID-19, civil unrest

    Sen. Omar AquinoCHICAGO — Funds from a comprehensive relief package supported and negotiated by State Senator Omar Aquino (D-Chicago) aimed to support working families, small businesses and communities heavily impacted by COVID-19 and civil unrest will become available within the next month.

    Much of the relief comes from the new Business Interruption Grant program, which will provide financial assistance to small businesses affected by the pandemic. Additionally, the Illinois Housing Development Authority will launch a $5,000 grant program to provide emergency rental assistance to 30,000 renters impacted by the pandemic, as well as grants to assist homeowners with mortgage payments.

    Read more.

     

     

     


    Vote by mail program extended, thanks to Senator Morrison

    Vote-by-mailDEERFIELD — Illinoisans across the state will receive an application in their mailbox to vote from the comfort and safety of their home, thanks to a measure spearheaded by State Senator Julie Morrison (D-Lake Forest).

    “If you’re eligible to vote, you should be able to do so safely and securely. No one should have to worry about jeopardizing their health to practice their civic duty,” Morrison said. “It is vital that no eligible voter — regardless of age or health — end up disenfranchised by the current health crisis.”

    Read more.

     

     


     

    MEMBERS IN THE NEWS

    Senator Scott Bennett, Champaign: Special Delivery Aids Local Medical Professional | Vermilion County First

    Senator Jennifer Bertino-Tarrant, Shorewood: Pritzker signs bill to extend teacher licenses | State Journal-Register

    Senator Rachelle Crowe, Glen Carbon: Crowe highlights new grant program aimed to support child care providers | The Telegraph

     


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  • Martinez urges ComEd customers to explore new COVID-19 relief options

    Senator MartinezCHICAGO – To help Illinois families pay their electric bills during the pandemic, Assistant Majority Leader Iris Y. Martinez (D-Chicago) is highlighting a new support package from ComEd and the Illinois Commerce Commission.

    “With unemployment numbers at a record high and rising every day, residents need assistance with utility bills,” Martinez said. “Hopefully, these measures can provide relief for families struggling to keep the lights on.”

    The package includes a number of provisions to help customers get back on their feet, including an extension of ComEd’s current policy suspending disconnections until the state moves to Phase 4 of the Restore Illinois plan or Aug. 1, 2020, whichever comes first. Residential and small business customers will have an additional 30-day grace period, during which time ComEd will not disconnect service for nonpayment.

    Low-income households earning less than 150% of the federal poverty level are eligible for financial assistance for past-due balances. Under this package, customers will have more flexible payment options, including longer payment plans, and ComEd will waive reconnection fees and new deposit requirements for residential customers.

    These new supports supplement relief measures ComEd has already put in place, like budget billing options, grants and debt assistance.

    “Working families are struggling in many ways throughout the pandemic,” Martinez said. “It’s reassuring to see companies helping people get back on their feet.”

    Customers who are struggling to pay their outstanding balances and electric bills are encouraged to contact ComEd’s customer care team as soon as possible at (800) 334-7661, Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. More information is also available at ComEd.com/CARE.

  • Murphy urges ComEd customers to explore new COVID-19 relief options

    Senator MurphyDES PLAINES – To help Illinois families pay their electric bills, State Senator Laura Murphy (D-Des Plaines) is highlighting a new support package from ComEd and the Illinois Commerce Commission.

    “With unemployment at a record high, many families are struggling to afford basic necessities,” said Murphy. “I hope these measures can help keep the lights on.”

    The package includes a number of provisions to help customers get back on their feet, including an extension of ComEd’s current policy suspending disconnections until the state moves to Phase 4 of the Restore Illinois plan or Aug. 1, 2020, whichever comes first. Residential and small business customers will have an additional 30-day grace period, during which time ComEd will not disconnect service for nonpayment.

    Low-income households earning less than 150% of the federal poverty level are eligible for financial assistance for past-due balances. Under this package, customers will have more flexible payment options, including longer payment plans, and ComEd will waive reconnection fees and new deposit requirements for residential customers.

    These new supports supplement relief measures ComEd has already put in place, like budget billing options, grants and debt assistance.

    “Families need all the help they can get right now,” said Murphy. “I’m glad to see companies offering people a hand during these tough times.”

    Customers who are struggling to pay their outstanding balances and electric bills are encouraged to contact ComEd’s customer care team as soon as possible at (800) 334-7661, Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. More information is also available at ComEd.com/CARE.

  • Hastings: Utility assistance is necessary for COVID-19 recovery

    electric meter

    FRANKFORT – The Illinois Commerce Commission announced the decision to approve several consumer protection measures during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, several of which State Senator Michael E. Hastings (D-Frankfort) called for as leader of the Senate’s Energy and Public Utilities working group this past legislative session.

    “Throughout March and April, I met with my colleagues on the Senate’s Energy and Public Utilities working group and numerous stakeholders. Our charge was very simple: we had to arrive at a solution to protect consumers,” Hastings said. “I’m thankful that Chairman Zalewski and the ICC listened to our recommendations allowing us to arrive at a helpful solution.”

  • Bennett: Reduce utility bills during Stay at Home Order

    electric meter2CHAMPAIGNState Senator Scott Bennett (D-Champaign) is encouraging residents to participate in the Citizens Utility Board’s (CUB) ongoing Virtual Utility Bill Clinic to potentially save homeowners money during the COVID-19 pandemic.

    “Home energy bills are on the rise while more people work remotely and children have switched to e-learning during the Stay at Home Order,” Bennett said. “Families and individuals that are facing financial hardship during this crisis should tune into CUB’s virtual clinics to learn how to reduce their utility bills.”

  • Lightford protects consumers from misleading utility plans

    Majority Leader Kimberly A. LightfordSPRINGFIELD – To protect consumers from being taken advantage of due to misinformation from alternative retail electric suppliers, Senate Majority Kimberly A. Lightford (D-Maywood) is leading legislation that was approved by the Senate on Wednesday.

    “The data clearly demonstrates that alternative suppliers focus their signup efforts on low-income neighborhoods, those where English is a secondary language, and communities of color,” Lightford said. “I am proud to stand with Attorney General Raoul to protect our most vulnerable residents from unknowingly signing contracts that will result in rate hikes they cannot afford.”