utilities2 113020LAKE COUNTY, Ill. — As the cold winter months begin and the COVID-19 pandemic continues, State Senator Adriane Johnson (D-Buffalo Grove) and State Senator Julie Morrison (D-Lake Forest) urged Gov. JB Pritzker to establish a new moratorium against utility shut-offs. 

“The high cost associated with electricity and gas bills during the winter months are already difficult for so many at-risk families — the addition of layoffs stemming from the ongoing public health crisis will make it even harder,” Morrison said. “No one should have to worry about how to keep their family safe and warm. A warm home is a basic human necessity that absolutely no one should have to go without.”

Johnson and Morrison, alongside other members of the Illinois Senate, sent Pritzker a letter Monday, urging him to establish a moratorium against utility shut-offs this winter. Although the Illinois Commerce Commission previously negotiated a voluntary moratorium with some companies — it’s not mandatory, nor have all companies signed on. The members of the Senate who sent the letter told the governor Illinois residents need assurances that they will continue to have heat, even if the pandemic causes them financial hardship. 

“Families are already coping with the stress of potentially becoming ill from COVID-19. We must alleviate further potential illness stemming from a lack of proper heat,” Johnson said. “We, as Illinoisans, must continue to be nationwide leaders who show that we will prioritize every person’s needs — regardless of financial background, race or ZIP code.” 

Morrison and Johnson urge Pritzker to immediately create a utility moratorium plan.