Illinois lawmakers propose bill to ensure fair water rates

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CHICAGO (AP) — Legislation has been proposed in the Illinois General Assembly that would require a review of water rates statewide to ensure they are affordable and fair.

The Chicago Tribune reports that the measure is sponsored by a bipartisan group of lawmakers, including some representing suburbs south and west of Chicago where residents have among the state’s highest water rates.

Lawmakers say the measure comes in response to the Tribune’s 2017 investigation The Water Drain that found residents in the lowest-income communities pay more for water than those in the most affluent towns.

House sponsor Rep. La Shawn Ford says water is a basic civil right.

Under the measure, water provided from Lake Michigan would be assessed by December 2020, then rates in the rest of the state would be analyzed.

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