State Sen. Don Harmon (D-Oak Park) has a plan he is hoping to introduce to the full Senate that could convince lawmakers to vote to override Gov. Pat Quinn's veto of the ComEd bill. Harmon's package would possibly increase the penalty ComEd and Ameren would see for failing to hire the 2,450 positions they promised to hire under the smart-grid law and would reduce amount of money the companies can spend on smart-grid changes. Harmon also claims that his bill would increase the amount of profits earned by ComEd, bringing down the minimum guarantee from 10.4 percent to 9.7 percent.
“As the sponsor of the trailer bill, I have trouble envisioning anyone voting against the trailer bill. By itself, it’s a good bill and does only good things for ratepayers and the state of Illinois,” Harmon told the Chicago Sun-Times. “I sense that with these improvements, passing through the Senate first, there will be the requisite votes to override the veto or to adopt new legislation with a veto-proof majority.”
UPDATED 8:00 p.m.: Gov. Pat Quinn released a statement on Harmon's Trailer bill:
Hours before [the] veto session begins, ComEd and Ameren have dropped a “trailer” bill that they claim would be a better bill for the people of Illinois. Unfortunately, this movie still has the same unhappy ending: blockbuster annual rate hikes for consumers and businesses.
The bill still guarantees annual rate hikes every year for the next ten years. This bill still guarantees annual profits for utilities at the expense of hard working families and businesses, which will cost jobs. And this bill still eliminates any real oversight by the Illinois Commerce Commission.
Businesses, homes and families will see their electricity bills go up each year for the next 10 years as result of this bill. Legislators have a choice – they can listen to the people of Illinois who've clearly spoken out against this or they can listen to the fairy tales being spun by the two big utilities.