Get a recap of legislative action from the Illinois General Assembly of interest to Illinois REALTORS
Click here if you are having trouble viewing this message.
Illinois Realtors

May 10, 2019

COOK COUNTY ASSESSOR INITIATVE STALLS IN HOUSE

Senate Bill 1379 (Hutchison/Davis), the initiative of the Cook County Assessor to establish vague and onerous reporting requirements for tax purposes on most income-producing properties in Cook County was NOT CALLED in the House Revenue and Finance Committee this week and the bill is currently inactive. The bill covers all income-producing properties except those valued at $100,000 or less, residential property with 6 or fewer units and farmland. As you are well aware, this legislation has generated significant opposition from a large coalition including: the Illinois REALTORS®, the Inland Real Estate Group, the Taxpayers’ Federation of Illinois, the Civic Federation, BOMA/Chicago, BOMA/Suburban Chicago, the Illinois Chamber of Commerce, the Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce, the Southland Chamber of Commerce, the Illinois Retail Merchants Association, the National Federation of Independent Business, the Illinois Manufacturers’ Association, the Illinois Farm Bureau, the Chemical Industry Council of Illinois, the Grain and Feed Association of Illinois, the Illinois CPA Society and the Illinois Fertilizer and Chemical Association. on Thursday on a roll call vote of 36-16-1. While Cook is automatically authorized to adopt these new provisions, other counties are authorized to opt-in. We will remain vigilant on efforts to move this bill and will remain engaged with the coalition to ensure that the bill is either defeated or modified to address the many concerns with the current language.

REAL ESTATE LICENCE ACT REWRITE UPDATE

On Wednesday, the House Labor and Commerce Committee unanimously approved Senate Bill 1872 (Anderson-Jones III/Rita) and sent the bill to the House floor. An amendment to the bill has been filed which represents an agreement between the Illinois REALTORS® and the Department of Financial and Professional Regulation on rewriting and renewing the Real Estate License Act. The bill includes initiatives developed by an Illinois REALTORS® Task Force on the issue (which were approved by the Board of Directors), including the following:

  • Enhances the pre- and post-licensing requirements; reduces pre-license hours from 90 to 75 hours and completely revamps post-license education from the current 30 hours to a 45-hour program that target essential skill-building;
  • Enhances and more clearly specifies Managing Broker supervisory responsibilities, especially for new licensees;
  • Reduces the minimum age for obtaining a license from 21 to 18;
  • Defines and recognizes real estate brokerage “teams” and addresses the use of team names in advertising;
  • Clarifies and streamlines consumer access to the Real Estate Recovery Fund and addresses and clarifies other disciplinary provisions.

The Illinois REALTORS® strongly SUPPORTS SB 1872, which has no opposition.

AUCTION LICENSE ACT REWRITE ADVANCES

The House Labor and Commerce Committee also advanced Senate Bill 1674 (Weaver/Halpin) this week. This bill extends the repeal date of the Auction License Act from January 1, 2020 to January 1, 2030. Among the changes are various definitional changes and the removal of references to associate auctioneers, sponsoring auctioneers, and sponsor cards throughout the Act. The bill also requires that all applicants and licensees to provide a valid address and email address, which shall serve as the address and email address of record, and that the Department of Financial and Professional Regulation be notified of any change of address or email address through specified means. The bill allows for service of certain notices by email and repeals provisions concerning surrender of licenses. The bill is pending final legislative approval in the House. The Illinois REALTORS® is NEUTRAL.

IMMIGRANT TENANT PROTECTION ACT APPROVED IN HOUSE COMMITTEE

The House Judiciary Civil Law Committee approved Senate Bill 1290 (Castro/Mah) this week on a roll call vote of 8-5-0. As you may recall, this measure which enacts the Immigrant Tenant Protection Act, was also approved in the 2018 session but Governor Rauner vetoed the bill. Prior to the bill being approved last year, the Illinois REALTORS® was heavily involved in negotiations on the bill to remove some onerous provisions which would have exposed landlords to huge liabilities. SB 1290 permits a tenant to sue a landlord for damages and attorney’s fees IF AND ONLY IF the landlord threatens, intimidates, or harasses a tenant because of their immigration or citizenship status. The bill also includes an “affirmative defense” to an eviction if a landlord tries to evict a tenant because of their status. The Illinois REALTORS® is NEUTRAL.

LOCAL GOVERNMENT CONSOLIDATION

On Thursday, the House Counties and Townships Committee advanced Senate Bill 90 (McConchie/Yingling). This bill provides for the dissolution of certain drainage districts wholly or partially contained within the Lake Michigan Watershed, the Chicago/Calumet Watershed, the Des Plaines River Watershed or Fox River Watershed wholly contained within a county with a stormwater management planning committee. The district may be dissolved if each municipality and the county that has territory within that drainage district adopt an ordinance dissolving the district (provided certain criteria are met). The dissolution petition must be filed in the circuit court for a hearing and order to dissolve the district. The Illinois REALTORS® supports this bill which is pending approval in the House.

TITLE INSURANCE LEGISLATION

The House Judiciary Civil Law Committee advanced Senate Bill 195 (Hastings/Williams) this week. The bill Provides that the definition of "good funds" includes a check drawn on the fiduciary trust account of an independent escrowee. The Illinois REALTORS is NEUTRAL on the bill which is pending final legislative approval in the House.

USE OF NON-HOME RULE MUNICIPAL SALES TAX PROCEEDS

The Senate Revenue Committee also advanced House Bill 938 (Walsh/McGuire) this week. As you may recall, Illinois law authorizes voters to approve a non-home rule municipal sales tax. While it was originally enacted to require the proceeds to be dedicated for public infrastructure or property tax relief, the General Assembly added authorization for municipal operations for a specified timeframe. This bill extends that timeframe to July 1, 2030. The Illinois REALTORS® is NEUTRAL. This bill is pending final legislative approval in the Senate. A duplicate bill, Senate Bill 584 (McGuire) is currently inactive.

SELECTION OF ASSESSORS

On Wednesday the Senate Revenue Committee advanced House Bill 3143 (Halbrook/McConchie) on a unanimous roll call vote. This bill provides that in ALL counties (except Cook), upon referendum approval, a county can change the manner in which it selects its county assessor or county supervisor of assessments from an elected position to an appointed position OR from an appointed position to an elected position. This bill is pending final legislative approval in the Senate.

LAKE COUNTY INITIATIVE -IMMINENT HAZARDS

The House Judiciary Civil Law Committee unanimously approved and advanced Senate Bill 1114 (Bush/Yingling) this week. This measure was the subject of negotiations between Lake County officials, the Illinois REALTORS® and the Illinois Farm Bureau. The bill adds language to the Counties Code to permit the removal of any unhealthy or unsafe accumulation or concentrations of specified materials or items that are causing a threat to health or safety. The bill has expedited procedures for those circumstances when a county finds that within a residential property there is an accumulation or concentration of garbage or organic materials in an active state of decomposition or other hazardous, noxious or unhealthy substances which present an immediate threat to the public health or safety or to the health and safety of the occupants of the property. The bill spells out procedures, notice provisions (including by service and posting a sign at the property) and a provision permitting the filing of a lien. SB 1114 is pending final legislative approval in the House. The Illinois REALTORS® is NEUTRAL.

VACANT AND BLIGHTED PROPERTY

The House Judiciary Civil Law Committee also advanced Senate Bill 2052 (Stadelman/Slaughter) this week after significant debate. As we reported earlier, this bill (and a companion bill Senate Bill 2097) implement recommendations made by the Illinois Housing Development Authority's Community Revitalization Task Force. The bill streamlines the process by which municipalities transfer vacant and abandoned properties to public agencies (including Land Banks) pursuant to an intergovernmental agreement. While SB 2052 is pending final legislative approval in the House, SB 2097 was not advanced and is currently inactive. The Illinois REALTORS® is NEUTRAL.

TAX INCREMENT FINANCING- REDEVELOPMENT PROJECT AREAS

The House Revenue and Finance Committee advanced Senate Bill 1035 (Weaver/Durkin) this week to make changes to Illinois law regarding tax increment financing. The bill provides that any ordinance adopting tax increment financing on or after the effective date of the amendatory Act shall specify a date for the dissolution of the special tax allocation fund and a date for the termination of the designation of the redevelopment project area. The bill also provides that, within 90 days after the effective date of this legislation, each municipality shall amend all existing tax increment financing ordinances to specify a date for the dissolution of the special tax allocation fund and a date for termination of the designation of the redevelopment project area. Municipalities are also required to notify affected taxing districts of the termination of redevelopment project areas by July 1 (currently, November 1) of the calendar year in which the redevelopment project area is terminated. This bill also tweaks the property tax cap law to state that, if a municipality has failed to provide timely notice to all taxing bodies of the termination of a redevelopment project area and the county clerk has been notified of that failure, then "recovered tax increment value" means the amount of the current year's equalized assessed value in the first year beginning at least 60 days after the notice has been provided. This bill is pending final legislative approval in the House. The Illinois REALTORS® is NEUTRAL.

SERVICE ANIMALS- ACCOMMODATIONS

The Senate Agriculture Committee advanced House Bill 3671 (Thapedi/Villivalam) this week. The bill creates the Assistance and Service Animal Integrity Act to provide that a landlord who receives a request from a person to make an exception to the landlord's policy prohibiting animals on the landlord's property because the person requires the use of an assistance animal or service animal may require the person to produce reliable documentation, which may be a standardized form, of the disability and disability-related need for the animal only if the disability or disability-related need is not readily apparent or known to the landlord. The landlord may require additional supporting documentation when necessary to evaluate the reasonableness of either the requested accommodation or any identified alternative accommodation. The landlord shall not be liable for injuries caused by a person's assistance animal or service animal permitted on the landlord's property as a reasonable accommodation to assist the person with a disability. A landlord may require a tenant to cover the costs of repairs for damage the animal causes to the tenant's dwelling unit or the common areas, reasonable wear and tear excepted; however, a landlord may not require a tenant to pay a pet-related deposit that is otherwise required for tenants who are not requesting accommodation. The Illinois REALTORS® is NEUTRAL.

WATER RECLAMATION DISTRICT LEGISLATION

This week nearly identical bills were approved in committees dealing with the operation of the North Shore Water Reclamation District. On Tuesday, the House Cities and Villages Committee advanced Senate Bill 2136 (Link/Mayfield) and on Wednesday the Senate Local Government Committee advanced House Bill 2862 (Mayfield/Link). The bills make various changes including the clarification that connection fees or connection related fees are a condition for the continued connection of the real property, that the district may terminate connections and service if fees are not paid within 60 days from the date such payment is due AND that fees owed are a lien against the real estate. The Illinois REALTORS® is NEUTRAL on both bills that are pending final legislative action.

WATER HEATER SAFETY VALVE ACT

On Tuesday, the Senate Public Health Committee advanced House Bill 3427 (Conroy/Fine). This bill creates the Water Heater Safety Valve Act to require manufacturers/suppliers of a water heater or tank for use in residential property to supply or attach a temperature mixing valve or other safety valve to prevent water with a temperature above 120 degrees from coming from any bathtub faucet, shower faucet, sink faucet. The bill also amends the Illinois Plumbing License Law to require licensed plumbers to comply with the Act. The bill also establishes civil penalties for violations of the Act. The Illinois REALTORS® continues to monitor the bill.

GENERAL ASSEMBLY UPCOMING SCHEDULE

The House and Senate are scheduled to be in session next week Tuesday, May 14th through Friday, May 17th.