Energy bill makes its way to Illinois Senate as deadline looms

The Illinois Senate plans to vote Monday on a far-reaching package of energy legislation that sailed through the House Thursday night.

It includes a $700 million electric utility rate increase but also puts the state on the path towards being carbon-free.

The state senate’s special session on Monday coincides with a deadline set by ComEd’s parent company, Exelon, for permanently shutting down its nuclear power plant in Byron, unless Exelon gets a multi-million dollar subsidy it’s demanding.


Critics complain the legislation would raise rates for the typical consumer by up to $200 a year.

"You're looking for the manufacturing sector it could be 10-15% rate hike. Your small commercial could be 8 to 10%. You know, families could see a 4 to 5% increase in their energy bills," said Mark Denzler, CEO of Illinois Manufacturers Association.

An assistant Democratic leader in the House who helped to negotiate the big package of energy legislation says the rate increase is worth it.

"Assuring reliability is important. We all need electricity and technology assuring we have electricity reliability is critical. We've seen what's happened in Texas when they didn't have electricity reliability. Lives were lost. Property was destroyed. We've seen what's going on in New York City," said Rep. Marcus Evans Jr., D-Chicago.