UPDATED 05/31/11 8:42 p.m.

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP/WBBM) – The Illinois Senate approved a plan for raising electric rates to pay for one of the nation’s largest projects to modernize the power grid.

As WBBM’s Lisa Fielding reports, the measure now goes to Democratic Gov. Pat Quinn, who has threatened to veto it.

LISTEN: Newsradio 780’s Lisa Fielding Reports

The bill passed 31-24 Tuesday.

The 10-year project is supposed to create 2,500 jobs and install “smart meters” in most homes. The meters could reduce energy costs by more closely linking power production to demand, thereby cutting waste for which ratepayers currently pay.

The bill allows 2.5 percent annual rate increases for the first three years.

Consumer advocates say the plan is too generous to Commonwealth Edison and Ameren.

© 2011 The Associated Press & WBBM contributed to this report. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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