February 4, 2022 State Capitol Report

Session Cancelled This Week

Legislators were due in Springfield to begin session on Tuesday and attend Governors Pritzker’s “State of the State” address on Wednesday. Due to severe weather in the Springfield area, the scheduled session days for this week were cancelled, but committees in both chambers still convened virtually. Governor Pritzker delivered his third State of the State and State Budget proposal to a small group of legislators and staff at the Old State Capitol in Springfield.

Governor Proposes Budget Plan for Fiscal Year 2023

Governor Pritzker’s proposal calls for significantly paying down the remainder of the state’s backlog of bills, increasing the state’s rainy-day fund, and contributing more than the minimum to the pension fund.  The Governor also laid out his plan for spending the reminder of the federal COVID $3.5 billion sent to Illinois’ unemployment trust fund.

More directedly related to the real estate industry, the Governor proposed that the legislature pass legislation to allow families to receive property tax rebates. This one-time property tax rebate payment to homeowners would be 5% of property taxes paid and up to $300 for those eligible for a state income tax credit. The Governor also proposed “freezing” both the grocery and gas tax.  Additional highlights of the Governor’s plan include increased funding for education and childcare, healthcare, adding 300 additional state police troopers, waiving license fees to aid restaurants and bars, workforce training, and increasing funding for new capital projects to promote new investment and bring jobs to communities.

Nearly 4,000 Additional Bills Introduced

The 102nd General Assembly began in January of 2021 and approximately 6000 bills were introduced. After the 2022 January deadline for bill introduction came and went, the second year of the 102nd General Assembly saw an additional 4,000 bills introduced. The Illinois REALTORS® Legislative Team has completed our review of the newly introduced bills and have narrowed down at least 100 bills that will directly impact the real estate industry and private property rights. Below is a summary of newly introduced legislation that our Legislative Team will be engaged in during the 2022 session.

Recently appointed State Representative and REALTOR® Sandra Hamilton has introduced the Eviction Moratorium Clarification Act. HB5415 (Rep. Hamilton, R – 99th, Springfield) provides that in any eviction moratorium issued by the Governor through Executive order or legislation and is passed by the General Assembly, the moratorium shall not prohibit the eviction of specified individuals. The Act also provides that evictions may be filed, commenced, and enforced against the specified individuals, along with any individuals who otherwise fail to meet the state requirements of an eviction moratorium. HB5415 also provides that in a rental or lease agreement in which utility payments are included in the rent payment, the landlord or property manager shall not be responsible for a tenant’s portion of a monthly utility payment for a tenant not paying rent who is protected by an eviction moratorium if the utility charges for that tenant are for more than 20% higher usage than any month in the previous year. The Illinois REALTORS® strongly SUPPORT HB5415.

SB3992 (Sen. Pacione-Zayas, D – 20th, Chicago) which has been titled the Tenant Protection Act, provides that a landlord may not increase the rent more than once every 12 months, by an amount no greater than the percentage change in the Consumer Price Index for the same 12-month period or 3%, whichever is lower. SB3992 also creates the Residential Rental Registry and would require a landlord to pay a rental registry fee and to register all dwelling units with the Illinois Housing Development Authority by January 15th of each year and any that a landlord found liable for charging rent in excess of the Act shall pay the prevailing tenant damages. This Act would also repeal the Rent Control Preemption Act.

HB4374 (Rep. Didech, D – 59th, Buffalo Grove) The Vacancy Fraud Act would allow a taxing body to file a vacancy fraud complaint if a property is receiving vacancy relief and the property owner is not actively attempting to sell the property. Vacant properties are assessed by a “Market Value” and being an unoccupied property allows for a reduction in the property taxes, compared to if the property was occupied. This Act states that any property owner that received a property tax reduction, due to the property’s vacancy, and is not actively trying to sell or lease the property is committing fraud and will be subject to considerable penalties and fines. The Vacancy Fraud Act has been introduced in previous legislative sessions and The Illinois REALTORS® have historically had strong opposition to this Act and will continue to OPPOSE as written.

At A Glance

The 2022 General Assembly might have an earlier adjournment date than previous years, but as you can see, our advocacy efforts will need to be in high gear. Stayed tuned every Friday of session for the latest updates of what is happening at the Capitol.

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April 25, 2023