Bill allowing higher electric rates goes to Quinn -

Bill allowing higher electric rates goes to Quinn

 SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) -- The Illinois Senate approved a plan for raising electric rates to pay for one of the nation's largest projects to modernize the power grid.
   The measure now goes to Democratic Gov. Pat Quinn, who has threatened to veto it.
   The bill passed 31-24 Tuesday.
   The 10-year project is supposed to create 2,500 jobs and install "smart meters" in most homes. The meters could reduce energy costs by more closely linking power production to demand, thereby cutting waste for which ratepayers currently pay.
   The bill allows 2.5 percent annual rate increases for the first three years.
   Consumer advocates say the plan is too generous to Commonwealth Edison and Ameren (AM'-er-en).
   The bill is SB1652.
   (Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)

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