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CHICAGO (AP) - A new report says electricity deregulation has saved Illinois customers up to $37 billion over the past 16 years.
 
The report being released Monday by four business groups says the average household has paid $3,600 less overall than if the average annual electricity rates had stayed the same.
 
Deregulation kicked in in 1998, allowing Illinois utilities to compete for business on the open market rather than being regulated monopolies whose rates were set. The utilities before deregulation both supplied and delivered electricity to customers, who had no other choices.
 
The legislature also restructured the natural gas market.
 
The report was issued by the Illinois Manufacturers' Association, Illinois Retail Merchants Association, Illinois Chamber of Commerce and the Illinois Business Roundtable.
 
Electric rates have risen recently as utilities make "smart grid" improvements.
Monday, 03 March 2014 07:16
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ST. LOUIS (AP) - Corps of Engineers officials are holding several workshops in Missouri and Illinois in the next two weeks to discuss flood preparation with local officials.
 
March is the start of the flood season along the Mississippi River Valley. The workshops are designed to give levee district officials a chance to hear about the spring flood outlook and discuss levee safety, response capabilities and other issues.
 
All four workshops start at 6:30 p.m. They are scheduled for Monday at the Lincoln County Courthouse in Troy, Mo., Thursday at Fire Engine House No. 1 in Fairview Heights, Ill., March 10 at the Jacksonville, Ill., Convention and Visitors Bureau, and March 12 at the Osage Centre in Cape Girardeau, Mo.
Monday, 03 March 2014 07:15
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St. Louis, MO (KTRS) - The winter storm may have moved out of the St. Louis area, but as it pushes toward the East Coast, it is causing problems for air travel.

 

Lambert canceled over 130 flights Sunday, and today there are already nearly 30 cancellations as of 6 AM. That number could rise throughout the day as the storm arrives east.

 

Lambert encourages travelers to check with air carriers before heading out the door.

Monday, 03 March 2014 07:12
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SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) - Illinois officials say the state's backlog of unpaid bills is decreasing.
 
The Springfield State Journal-Register reports the backlog is expected to fall to $5.6 billion by June 30, which is the end of the current fiscal year. That's down from a high of $9.9 billion in 2010.
 
The figures came from a letter acting budget director Jerome Stermer wrote to legislative leaders, adding that the unpaid tab was $6.4 billion in December.
 
The newspaper's story is part of GateHouse newspapers' series on Illinois' backlog of unpaid bills.
 
Lawmakers from both parties say the state has made progress, but say there's still more work to be done.
Monday, 03 March 2014 06:16
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