By: Arnold Wyrick
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.