Despite the opposition of Gov. Pat Quinn, the Illinois Senate approved $3.2 billion legislation that allow one of the state's major utility companies to construct a smart grid, the Chicago Tribune reports.
The bill would increase electricity costs by $3 monthly for Commonwealth Edison customers to pay for the grid. Supporters say a smart grid would allow consumers to more effectively monitor their energy use and ensure the company could more quickly respond to outages, according to the Tribune.
Opponents say the utility company, which has been a steady campaign contributor, is trying to circumvent the Illinois Commerce Commission, which usually handles requests for utility investments. Quinn has pledged to oppose the plan, the Tribune reports. The bill now moves to the House.