Locals put out the call for a power rally at the capital - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

Marion, IL

Locals put out the call for a power rally at the capital

State Representative John Bradley State Representative John Bradley

Locals put out the call for a power rally at the capital
By: Arnold Wyrick

MARION, Ill. - Residents of southern Illinois, who rely upon AMEREN CIPS for their electrical needs, are sending out the rally cry in the fight against hiked electric rates.  Since the rates were unfrozen at the begriming of the year customers have seen their bills skyrocket.

And now they plan to join forces and take their complaints straight to legislatures in Springfield.  State Representative John Bradley is organizing the P.O.W.E.R.  Rally.  People Organized and Working for Electric Relief. "This is the next step is actually getting people to the capital building.  To have their voices heard, and giving them the opportunity to scream up to the top of the rafters of the building they own," Bradley said.

He and several other people in the Marion area met on Monday to talk about the rally. "We only get about a three percent increase yearly in our checks from the government.  And we have to live on that income.  But a 41-percent increase in my electric bill really eats into the billfold.  And it's pretty much wiped out all of the increases that I've received on my income for the last 18 years," says Cliff Ripley of Marion, Illinois. "I wish I was healthy enough to make the trip with them, but I'm not so I'm going to do everything I can here to help fight these rates."

Some of those who attended the meeting have already complained to the power company.  And are vowing to keep up their fight to get something done in Springfield. "My business bill was normally $800, it went to $1,800, and the same thing happened with my electric bill at home.  It went from $279 to over $700.  How are people on fixed incomes and minimum wage jobs supposed to pay those bills," says Ellie Dorchincez of Benton, Illinois.

"That's why it's so important for people to voice their opinions.  They need to show these people in the capital building what their concerns are, these people in Springfield they need to see this."

The POWER Rally rolls towards Springfield, Illinois on May 9th.  To reserve your seat on the free bus ride call toll free (866) 448-3613, or call Representative Bradley's office at (618) 997-9697.

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