Breen Calls for Veto of Bill to Charge DuPage Residents for Downstate Wastewater Improvements

Today, Representative Peter Breen called for a veto of Senate Bill 1421, which passed out of the House this past Thursday. The bill will allow utility companies, like Illinois American Water, to seek permission to charge municipal wastewater customers in one part of the state for the company’s private wastewater expansion efforts in other parts of the state. Breen received numerous complaints about SB 1421 from residents in his district served by Illinois American Water, which covers parts of Glen Ellyn, Wheaton, Lombard, and Lisle, among other communities.

“Folks in DuPage County should not have to pay to expand wastewater services in Peoria,” said Breen. “This bill would force residents to pay twice for wastewater services: once for their own municipal services and a second time for private services for people on the other side of the state. Homeowners are at the mercy of their water providers—they should be charged a fair price for the water services received, not to subsidize private expansion that doesn’t benefit them.”

Rep. Breen directly challenged the sponsor of the bill in a vigorous debate on the House floor and attacked the measure as an unjust fee increase. Video of the floor debate can be viewed here. Breen noted that Illinois American has roughly 280,000 water customers but only 30,000 private wastewater customers, in support of his argument that the fee shifting in this bill would be detrimental to the vast majority of those water customers.

The measure passed the House by a slim margin, 63-50, and now goes to Governor Bruce Rauner for his consideration.

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