Weeks before news surfaced of a proposed $500 million deal with ComEd to help plug the state budget deficit, legislative leaders in
Springfield expressed a degree of interest in the idea, according to a senior executive with parent company Exelon. In statements to Crain's, legislators deny
that they themselves proposed the controversial plan to guarantee above-market utility rates in exchange for the windfall. But both House Speaker
Michael Madigan (D-Chicago), Senate President John Cullerton
(D-Chicago) -- along with Gov. Pat Quinn -- admit that they knew ahead
of time about ComEd's proposal.