A Cole County Circuit Judge has turned down a request from several utilities companies for a stay of the Public Service Commission’s changes to the state’s Cold Weather Rule. Those changes would make it easier for customers who have been disconnected to get their heat turned back on. In a ruling issued a day after the sides presented their cases before him, Judge Richard Callahan writes that while he has serious reservations concerning the Rule’s legality, he must presume that PSC orders are lawful and reasonable. Callahan makes it clear this order denying the stay is not a ruling on the merits of the utilities’ claims that the changes will cause the companies great or irreparable damage. He’s asking the sides to propose a schedule, at their earliest convenience, to come before him to address the merits of the actual changes.