Bill would provide money for Illinois to pay utility bills
SPRINGFIELD, Ill. -- An Illinois senator has introduced legislation that would authorize funding to pay for about $10 million the state owes for utility bills at government offices in the capital city.
Illinois owes Springfield's City Water, Light and Power more than $9 million, including overdue bills totaling more than $6 million covering electric, water, sewer and sanitary services. The city provides utility services to 90 separate accounts for state facilities.
The state hasn't had authorization to pay the bills because lawmakers haven't agreed on budget for the fiscal year that started July 1.
State Sen. Andy Manar, a Democrat from Bunker Hill, has filed a bill that would allow Illinois to use general funds and additional money from the previous fiscal year to cover unpaid utility bills that aren't covered in the current fiscal year's budget, The (Springfield) State Journal-Register reported (http://bit.ly/1PmIjRu ).
"If the state government were a residential customer, the state government's power would have been shut off," Manar said.
The utility has said that accounts are usually disconnected within 60 to 90 days of being overdue but it has been working with the state.
Springfield Mayor Jim Langfelder said no state building is in danger of losing power at this time.
The Springfield City Council is expected to vote Tuesday on a resolution asking Gov. Bruce Rauner and the Legislature to make utility services to state facilities an essential service so that electric, water and sewer bills can be paid.
The legislation is SB2230.
Information from: The State Journal-Register, http://www.sj-r.com