Lieutenant governor urges consumers to send tea bags

Lieutenant Governor Pat Quinn is urging power customers to take part in a unique protest of the state's upcoming increase in utility rates.

Quinn is suggesting that Ameren Corporation customers send a tea bag along with their payments.

He says the tea bag mailings will harken back to the Boston Tea Party, when colonists dumped tea into Boston Harbor to protest unfair taxation by the British.

He's appearing at Ameren offices in Decatur and Peoria today to discuss the protest.

Last week, Ameren officials announced that its customers will see increases of between 26-dollars and 33-dollars each month -- or 40 to 55 percent.

Ameren serves one-point-two million customers in central and southern Illinois.

Officials say the rate increases will come in part because prices have been frozen for a decade.