Governor Pat Quinn appointed John T. Colgan to the Illinois Commerce Commission (ICC) effective November 15, 2009 to fill the vacancy left by Robert F. Lieberman. He was reappointed in January 2010 to a term expiring in 2015.
Commissioner Colgan currently serves as a member of the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners Committee on Consumer Affairs, Committee on Gas and Subcommittee on Clean Coal and Carbon Sequestration.
Colgan comes to the ICC with more than 30 years experience in community organizing, consumer advocacy and administration. He served for over 11 years as the founding executive director of the Illinois Hunger Coalition, prior to accepting a position with the Illinois Association of Community Action Agencies (IACAA) in 2000. At IACAA, he worked on a large portfolio of public policy issues including a focused attention on affordable energy for low-income Illinoisans.
In 2004, Colgan co-authored the Affordable Energy Plan, which was used as the basis for the creation and passage of the Illinois Percentage of Income Payment Plan (PIPP), which Governor Quinn signed into law on July 10, 2009 (Public Act 096-0033). The PIPP helps low-income families, seniors and other fixed-income households pay their home energy bills by modernizing the Illinois Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP).
At IACAA, Colgan also helped negotiate low-income electric rate relief contracts with Ameren Illinois utilities and ComEd and implemented them through the statewide Community Action Agency network. The adjusted contracts to aid low-income families took effect in June 2007 and will save them approximately $50 million over a four year period ending in 2010.
Previously, he also served as Program Director at the Peoria County Community Action Agency (1981-1989) where he was the original organizer of the Peoria Area Foodbank and the Peoria Area Anti-Hunger Coalition.
Commissioner Colgan, who lives in Springfield, is involved in several civic activities including being a board member of the National Center for Appropriate Technology. He has also received numerous honors and awards including the prestigious Raymond Wheeler Award presented by the D.C.-based Food Research and Action Center and is a designated Certified Community Action Professional by the National Community Action Partnership.
He received his undergraduate degree in government from Southern Illinois University and an MA in political science (with honors) from the University of Illinois.