Get a recap of legislative action from the Illinois General Assembly of interest to Illinois REALTORS
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Illinois Realtors

February 8, 2019

Both the House and Senate were in session this week with limited committee action. As widely reported, the Senate did move swiftly to pass a major initiative of Governor J.B. Pritzker- a phased-in increase of the state’s minimum wage. The bill passed the Senate on Thursday on a partisan roll call (39-18-0). Illinois’ minimum wage is currently $8.25 (higher in Chicago) and Senate Bill 1 (Lightford/Guzzardi) will raise that minimum by $1 January 1, 2020 with an additional 75 cent increase on July 1, 2020. It would then increase an additional $1 per hour each year until the $15 rate is reached. The bill does contain some tax credits and allow special consideration of tipped workers.

Members of the House and Senate continued to introduce bills this week in anticipation of the introduction deadline February 15, 2019. Nearly 2,000 additional bills were introduced this week bringing the total to 4,638.

In other action this week:

RENT CONTROL

On Wednesday morning, in a deviation from normal committee procedure, the House Judiciary Civil Law Committee had a subject matter hearing allowing only the sponsor of House Bill 255 (Guzzardi) to speak before the full committee. As we reported last week, HB 255 is a repeat from a bill in the 2018 session which seeks to repeal the Rent Control Preemption Act. That Act, enacted in 1997, prohibits a unit of local government from enacting, maintaining or enforcing an ordinance that would have the effect of controlling the amount of rent charged for leasing private residential or commercial property. HB 255 could be called for a vote in the Commercial Law Subcommittee, and subsequently in the full House Judiciary Civil Law Committee as early as THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 14TH.

In other news on rent control, House Bill 2192 (Flowers) was introduced in the House Thursday, February 7th. The bill not only repeals the Rent Control Preemption Act but creates the Rent Control Act to impose rent control throughout all of Illinois. This bill is similar to Senate Bill 3512, introduced by Senator Mattie Hunter in the 2018 spring session which was never called for a vote.

Please watch for a Call for Action on rent control early next week and make sure that you and everyone in your office takes action! For more information on the rent control issue, please visit: 
www.illinoisrealtors.org/advocacy/rent-control

 

DISSOLUTION OF DRAINAGE DISTRICTS

On Wednesday, the Senate Local Government Committee unanimously approved and advanced to the Senate floor Senate Bill 90 (McConchie). This consolidation measure provides that if one or more municipalities account for at least 50% of a drainage district's territory, the drainage district may be dissolved if each municipality that has territory within the drainage district and the county in which the drainage district lies adopt a resolution or ordinance dissolving the district. The bill stipulates that the dissolution ordinance must state that no outstanding debts exist, and that no permits or grants would be impaired by the dissolution. Property that had been owned by the former district becomes the property of the county; although the county has the authority to give it to a municipality if that municipality will be exercising the powers of the former district. IF a drainage district had levied a tax that is still effective on the date of dissolution, the county has the authority to continue to collect, receive, and expend the proceeds of the tax within the boundaries of the former drainage district. This bill contains language to require the county, no later than 60 days after the dissolution, to either reduce the tax levy to an amount necessary to continue the operation of the structures and drainage system until the levy expires OR eliminate the tax levy if the county board determines the municipality and county have sufficient revenue to operate the drainage structures and systems. The Illinois REALTORS® SUPPORT this bill.

HOUSE EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE ADVANCES SHELL BILLS

On Wednesday, the House Executive Committee, on a partisan roll call (7-5-0), approved and advanced to the House floor 95 “shell bills” sponsored by Speaker Michael Madigan. “Shell bills” are introduced in both chambers by both sides of the aisle as placeholders for language that can be added later in the session amending certain Acts. We will keep vigilant on amendments filed that are of interest on any of these bills as the session progresses.

ILLINOIS HOUSE RETURNS WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 13, 2019

Only the House is in session next week, Wednesday-Friday.