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Some Metro-East Leaders Opposed to Utility Merger

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(KWMU file photo)

By Illinois Public Radio

Springfield, ILL. – A proposed merger between Commonwealth Edison and Illinois Power is drawing the ire of some Metro-East leaders.

Com-Ed wants lawmakers to pass legislation to speed up their business deal. But East St. Louis Mayor Carl Officer told lawmakers in Springfield Wednesday such a move would be a sweetheart deal.
"I've been in government all of my adult life, since age 22. And I know there's a rate increase coming if this bill's allowed to live," Officer said. "And as a licensed embalmer and funeral director in this state, I'd like to offer my condolences as well as my services to this piece of legislation free of charge."

Illinois Power currently serves parts of the Metro-East. Com-Ed, which serves mostly northern Illinois, wants to pay more than $400 million to buy the Illinois Power but says it needs speedy approval of a rate hike of at least 5%.

Critics say consumers should not have to pay for a merger.

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