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SPRINGFIELD – In an effort to protect vulnerable utility customers, State Senator Steve Stadelman has introduced legislation that would establish a Disconnection Protection Program.

“Ensuring that our residents have continuous access to basic utilities like electricity and gas is not just a matter of comfort, but of public health and safety,” said Stadelman (D-Rockford). “This measure would prevent families from having to choose between paying for utilities and other essential needs like food and medicine, especially during times of financial difficulty.”

Low-income households that seek energy payment assistance do not currently have any protections from being disconnected by electric and gas utilities.

This legislation would mandate electric and gas utilities serving more than 500,000 customers to implement measures to prevent the disconnection of services for customers actively seeking energy payment assistance.

“This bill is a step forward in our ongoing efforts to support vulnerable populations and ensure that our energy policies are fair and just,” said Stadelman.

House Bill 4118 passed the Energy and Public Utilities Committee on Thursday, and heads to the House for further consideration.