Rezin legislation helps prevent unjustified water rate increases

State Sen. Sue Rezin is working to protect Illinois citizens from unjustified increases to their water bills.

“I have worked for the past five years to try to resolve issues between my constituents and American Water and their ever increasing water bills,’” Rezin said. “Unfortunately, American Water has not taken my constituent complaints into consideration, which has resulted in this legislation. Illinois is already one of the most expensive places to live and raise a family in the country, especially with our sky-high property taxes. We do not need to add unjustified rate increases on our water bills to the list.”

Rezin is co-sponsoring Senate Bill 3111 to require water utilities to provide specific details and income information to the Illinois Commerce Commission (ICC) each year, information that would be available to the public. The information includes a utility’s Statement of Operating Income, actual costs of capital improvement projects, planned capital improvements for each forward year, water quality reports, allocation of costs methodology based on each district, and other information regarding operation of the water company.

“We are asking American Water to show the ICC their books, show them their cash flow, and be transparent,” Rezin said. “If they truly need a rate increase, they’ll have to prove it because right now, our water rates are through the roof.”  

Senate Bill 3111 is assigned to the Environment and Conservation Committee in the Senate.

Every year, utilities must issue a report of their operations to ICC. Rezin says her legislation would mandate a much more detailed version, which would help the ICC make better decisions when a utility asks for a rate increase.

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