Outrageous! ComEd offers to raise your electric bill to help the state trim its deficit.


This is mind-blowing. ComEd would give the state $500 million to help it deal with its budget crisis if the state would agree to freeze in higher customer rates.

The deal is complicated but it basically comes down to this: You would pay higher electric rates to trim the state's multi-billion-dollar deficit. It's not a tax increase, but it sure feels like one. It has the same effect as one, except that instead of paying more money directly to the state, you'd pay it to ComEd, which would give it to the state.
This deal has been disclosed in Crain's Chicago Business by Steve Daniels. (Great job, Steve). It takes a little concentration to fully understand it, but it's worth your time. A couple of important points that Daniels makes:
  • The value of the deal to ComEd is more than its cost ($500 million). 
  • The deal is to be considered in the last few days of this legislative session. It was sprung on everyone with little or no notice. I would be ungracious of me to call it sneaky or an attempt to whisk something into law before anyone realizes what happens. But, one might understate, that in Illinois, such things have been known to happen.
This is tempting bait for legislators, because it might seem to be an easy way to trim the deficit and unpaid bills without raising taxes. 

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