They spoke at S&E Electric Company, which has one of the nation's few smart grid demonstration centers.
Smart grid is an updated electric distribution network.
Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce President Jerry Roper said the smart grid would create 2,500 jobs.
"How can we move to the future with an electric system that is stuck in the past? The investment to modernize our grid is no longer essential: it is a mandatory for growth," said Roper.
"The smart grid can be self-healing. That means that many of the outages we've been experiencing can be dealt with automatically so that power can be automatically restored to most of the consumers in seconds," said John Estey, S&E Electric Company.
Quinn, Attorney General Lisa Madigan, and consumer groups claim the bill is too costly because it lets utilities hike customers rates by up to 2.5 percent annually.