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

May 17, 2019

There was a flurry of activity this week in the General Assembly as we move closer to the end of the 2019 spring session. NEXT Friday, May 24th is the deadline for consideration of bills in the opposite chamber and May 31st is the scheduled adjournment of the spring session.

REAL ESTATE LICENCE ACT REWRITE AMENDMENT APPROVED

 

On Thursday, the House Labor and Commerce Committee unanimously approved the substantive amendment to Senate Bill 1872 (Anderson-Jones III/Rita). The language represents the agreement between the Illinois REALTORS® and the Department of Financial and Professional Regulation on rewriting and renewing the Real Estate License Act. In the final form, SB 1872:

  • 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 is pending final legislative approval in the House. The bill will then be sent back to the Senate for their concurrence with the House amendment.


 

REAL ESTATE APPRAISAL ACT LEGISLATION

 

The Senate unanimously approved House Bill 2961 (Rita/Cunningham) on Friday, marking final legislative action on the bill. HB 2961 amends the Real Estate License Act provisions regarding broker price opinions (BPO) and comparative market analyses (CMA). This measure, an initiative of the appraiser lobby, is a technical change of the current provisions of the Act regarding BPO/CMA. The Illinois REALTORS® is NEUTRAL. The bill will now be sent to the Governor for his consideration.

COOK COUNTY ASSESSOR INITIATVE DISCUSSIONS CONTINUE

Various stakeholders, including the Illinois REALTORS®, continue to meet and discuss Senate Bill 1379 (Hutchison/Davis), the initiative of the Cook County Assessor to establish reporting requirements for tax purposes on most income-producing properties in Cook County. As we have reported, this bill covers all income-producing properties except those valued at $100,000 or less, residential property with 6 or fewer units and farmland. While Cook is automatically authorized to adopt these new provisions, other counties are authorized to opt-in.

LOCAL GOVERNMENT CONSOLIDATION

 

The Illinois REALTORS® has consistently supported legislative efforts to eliminate or consolidate the staggering number of property tax funded units of government in Illinois. On Thursday, the Senate overwhelmingly APPROVED House Bill 348 (McSweeney/Link) on a roll call vote of 44-3-0 which marks final legislative action. This bill adds provisions to Illinois law dealing with the dissolution of a single township in McHenry County by a referendum vote and also establishes the procedure for abolishing a township road district in Lake or McHenry County if the roads of the district are less than 15 centerline miles in length. As we have noted in past Capitol Reports this concept was also considered in the 2018 session. The measure as approved this year included additional language to address specific issues of concern raised in the 2018 session. Among the issues addressed in the new language is the distribution of motor fuel tax moneys from the dissolved township, requirements for the petition, posting of notice of the petition on the county’s website in addition to publication, clarification of the question on the ballot, what area would utilize the transferred park land, cemetery land, buildings and facilities, administration of the dissolved township’s general assistance program and its cemeteries, clarification that the taxpayers within the dissolved township are responsible for any liabilities transferred and a section that makes it clear that on the date of dissolution elected and appointed township officers and commissioners no longer hold office and are no longer compensated. HB 348 will be sent to the Governor for his consideration.


 

On Friday, the Senate also overwhelmingly approved House Bill 3369 (Weber/Wilcox) on a roll call vote of 51-0-1 which marks final legislative action. This bill provides that the board of trustees of the of the Village of Lindenhurst may, by ordinance, terminate the terms of all members of the board of trustees of the Lindenhurst Sanitary District and the powers of the Lindenhurst Sanitary District shall be exercised by the board of trustees of the Village, including the District's authority to levy and collect taxes. The bill stipulates that once there are no debts of the District OR when the Village has sufficient funds on hand or available to satisfy any debts of the District, the board of trustees of the Village may dissolve the Lindenhurst Sanitary District and acquire all of the District's assets and responsibilities. The dissolution must be done by passage of an ordinance. HB 3369 will be sent to the Governor for his consideration.

RETAINAGE PROVISIONS IN COMMERCIAL CONTRACTS

On Wednesday, the House Executive Committee unanimously approved Senate Bill 1636 (Mulroe/Arroyo) and sent the bill to the full House for final legislative action. This bill is a repeat of legislation that was approved in the General Assembly in 2018 but VETOED by Governor Rauner. SB 1636 establishes certain parameters for the terms of “retainage” provisions in a contract between a commercial real estate developer and businesses that contract to do work for the developer. The bill limits the retainage provision in commercial construction contracts to 10% and requires the retainage amount to be reduced to 5% once 50% of the work is completed.

USE OF NON-HOME RULE MUNICIPAL SALES TAX PROCEEDS

The Senate unanimously approved House Bill 938 (Walsh/McGuire) this week. Illinois law allows voters to approve a non-home rule municipal sales tax. When first authorized, the proceeds were required to be dedicated for public infrastructure or property tax relief. After its initial passage, 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 will be sent to the Governor for his consideration. The duplicate bill, Senate Bill 584 (McGuire), was gutted and used for another purpose.

SELECTION OF ASSESSORS

On Friday, the Senate unanimously approved House Bill 3143 (Halbrook/McConchie). This bill allows ALL counties (except Cook), upon referendum approval, to 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. The Illinois REALTORS® is NEUTRAL. The bill has been sent to the Governor for his consideration.

SERVICE ANIMALS- ACCOMMODATIONS

The Thursday, the Senate Agriculture Committee approved an amendment and then advanced House Bill 3671 (Thapedi/Villivalam) to the full Senate. As we have previously reported, this 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. In short, this bill establishes a clear procedure by which landlords can reasonably evaluate a tenant’s need for an assistance animal without risking a fair housing violation for failure to make a reasonable accommodation. The Illinois REALTORS® SUPPORTS the bill.

BLOCKCHAIN BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT ACT

 

On Wednesday, the Senate Commerce and Economic Development Committee adopted another amendment to House Bill 2540 (Harper/T. Cullerton). The bill in its current form directs the Department of Financial and Professional Regulation to review the application of blockchain technology to the provisions of banking and consider areas for potential adoption and necessary regulatory changes in Illinois. The report is to be submitted to the General Assembly and the Governor by January 1, 2021. The bill also directs the Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity to incorporate into one or more of its economic development marketing and business support programs, events, and activities topics related to blockchain technology (the topics are specified in the bill). This bill is pending final approval in the Senate and will be sent back to the House for their concurrence with the Senate changes. The Illinois REALTORS® is NEUTRAL.

COUNTY RECORDER DEMAND AND REFERRAL PROGRAM CHANGES ADVANCE

On Wednesday, the House Executive Committee advanced Senate Bill 62 (Castro/Costa Howard) to the full House. This bill amends the Recorder Division within the Counties Code to modify how a county recorder determines if a lien is an expired lien under a county's demand and referral program. The bill specifies that a lien is expired if a suit to enforce the lien has not been commenced or a counterclaim has not been filed by the lienholder within 2 years after the completion date of the contract as specified in the recorded mechanics lien. The bill provides that the 2-year period shall be increased to the extent that an automatic stay under specified provisions of the United States Bankruptcy Code stays a suit or counterclaim to foreclose the lien or, if a work completion date is not specified in the recorded lien, then the work completion date is the date of recording of the mechanics lien. The Illinois REALTORS® is NEUTRAL.

GENERAL ASSEMBLY UPCOMING SCHEDULE

The General Assembly returns to Springfield on Monday, May 20th for the final push to complete this 2019 spring session.