Legislators override governor's veto on power grid bill

October 26, 2011

Associated Press

(Photo courtesy of flickr)

Illinois lawmakers have approved major changes to the state's electricity system over Gov. Pat Quinn's veto.

Both the House and Senate voted to override the governor Wednesday. They rejected Quinn's argument that the legislation guarantees unfair profits to power companies and seriously weakens the oversight power of state regulators. The Senate voted 36-19 to override. Moments later, the House did the same on a 74-42 vote.

The legislation lets ComEd and Ameren raise rates to pay for improving electrical systems, including the creation of a high-tech "smart grid." Supporters say it will create jobs and help customers conserve energy. Critics call it a sweetheart deal for power companies.