The Illinois Commerce Commission works to stop utility disconnections and late payment fees

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FILE – In this April 12, 2019 file photo, Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker answers questions after a bill signing in the governor’s office at the Illinois State Capitol, in Springfield, Ill. Gov. Pritzker has compiled a $41.5 billion state capital-construction plan to rebuild and maintain roads, schools and affordable housing, make environmental improvements and more. The Democrat briefed key lawmakers Friday. He did not release the plan but news organizations including The Associated Press obtained copies of it. (Justin L. Fowler/The State Journal-Register via AP, File)

CHICAGO (WMBD) — The Illinois Commerce Commission is working to stop disconnections, threatening notices and fines amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Wednesday ICC voted unanimously to formalize Gov. J.B. Pritzker and the ICC’s request of Illinois ceasing electric, natural gas, water, and wastewater utility disconnections during the COVID-19 crisis. The order also wants utility companies to suspend late payment fees until May 1, or when the virus is contained.

A statement provided by ICC reads,

“Life changed seemingly overnight for all Illinois residents due to COVID-19. As regulators, it is our responsibility to balance the interest of the utilities with the needs of consumers. Now is not the time to be cutting off potentially life-saving utility services. Ceasing disconnections and threatening notices, and hefty fines will give residents some much-needed peace of mind during these difficult days. The citizens of Illinois are being asked to take unprecedented steps to curb the spread of this dangerous virus.

By staying at home and limiting contact with others, many businesses are now faced with closure or reducing operations leaving many people with little or no pay in the coming weeks,” said Commissioner Sadzi Martha Oliva.

This emergency order ensures that no one loses power, natural gas or running water because they can’t afford to pay their bills during these hard times. If we all work together, we can make it through this crisis.”

Illinois Commerce Commission Chairman Carrie Zalewski.

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