SHOREWOOD – Legislation that would end the practice of burdening family members of deceased utility customers with early termination fees unanimously passed the Senate Wednesday.

State Senator Meg Loughran Cappel (D-Shorewood) is the lead Senate sponsor of the measure.

“Grieving families have enough on their plate without having to worry about being saddled with wrongful utility fees,” Loughran Cappel said. “Ending the practice of charging next of kin in the event of an untimely death is a simple solution that I am proud to support.”

House Bill 122 would end early termination fees for utility customers who die before the end of a contract.

This concern was raised by a constituent of House sponsor Rep. Dan Didech following publication of a news article which profiled a California family facing an early termination fee after a family member had died. Similar action has already been taken to prevent this sort of situation in the state of New York.

“It is encouraging to see similar measures being taken to close this loophole in other states,” Loughran Cappel said. “Enacting this legislation sends a signal that Illinois is leading by taking a proactive approach to consumer protection.”

This legislation now awaits the governor’s approval.