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August 2, 2001

Ryan Signs Tree Trimming Bill

SPRINGFIELD -- Governor George H. Ryan today signed House Bill 1776, encouraging cooperation between utility companies and homeowners when it comes to vegetation management issues.

"Trees have to be regularly trimmed for safety reasons and to ensure the fewest power outages possible. But at the same time, homeowners want to preserve the aesthetics of the neighborhood and don't want to see their trees unnecessarily cut or their properties drastically changed," Gov. Ryan said. "This has been an issue raised in several communities, and I believe this bill will finally solve the problem."

Effective immediately, utility companies conducting non-emergency tree trimming must notify those customers whose properties will be affected. At least 21 days prior to taking any action, companies will now have to inform customers and the offices of the community's mayor or public board directly, as well as place a published notice in a local newspaper. Maps of the areas, specific addresses affected, and the web address and toll free phone number to which concerned residents can obtain a written document of their rights and dispute resolution opportunities must also be provided.

If a dispute about the proposed work arises, the Illinois Commerce Commission will act as the mediator between the utility company and the homeowner by hearing and investigating complaints and resolving each situation.

House Bill 1776 was sponsored by Representatives Dan Rutherford, R-Chenoa; Phil Novak, D-Bradley; Dan Brady, D-Bloomington; Douglas Hoeft, R-Elgin; Thomas Berns, R-Urbana; and by Senators Stan Weaver, R-Urbana; John Maitland, R-Bloomington; and Peter Roskam, R-Wheaton.


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