January 14, 2022 State Capitol Report

2022 Spring Session is underway

The second session of the 102nd General Assembly officially began on Wednesday, January 5, with legislators returning to Springfield to take part in virtual hearings and one day of floor action on January 6th. Due to heightened COVID concerns, this week’s committee hearings were conducted completely virtually, and the Illinois legislature has cancelled, for now, the next two weeks of session. That does not mean that the legislative process will stop. New bills will continue to be introduced and virtual committee hearings are still being scheduled. The Illinois REALTORS® Legislative Team will continue to review all bills introduced and work with legislators and staff on issues concerning real estate and private property rights.

This Week in Springfield

Below is an overview of legislation introduced in the last two weeks impacting REALTORS®. We expect there to be several hundreds of more bills introduced over the next few weeks.

Illinois REALTORS® OPPOSES HB2775 (Rep. Ford, D – 8th, Chicago/ Sen. Villivalam D-8th, Chicago) The bill MANDATES all housing providers to participate in the Housing Choice Voucher Program (commonly known as “Section 8”). The Housing Choice Voucher Program is a valuable program and works well for many housing providers and tenant, but the program does not fit every business model, and not every property owner is able to comply with the requirements of the program.

HB 2775 would essentially strip a REALTOR® of their livelihood if they choose not to enroll in the program if a tenant qualifies. Violations of the Human Rights Act result in mandatory suspension or revocation of a real estate license. Illinois REALTORS® strongly SUPPORTS this provision for current human rights violations, but a license should NOT be revoked for failure to participate in a government program.

We know that housing assistance without over-bearing restrictions, requirements and mandatory lease provisions works best. We’re doing it now, through the Emergency Rental Assistance Program, with nearly $1 billion in direct rental assistance being distributed in Illinois with nearly universal participation by landlords! We are currently working with the Senate sponsor and look forward to continually our productive collaboration. Last year, HB2775 passed the House. This year the bill is in the Senate. The Illinois REALTORS® Legislative Team is currently negotiating the bill.

HB3125 (Rep. Gabel, D-18th, Evanston) Introduced in 2020, HB3125 would create the Electric Vehicle Charging Act and would mandate that newly constructed or renovated residential or nonresidential buildings with parking, have a certain percentage of their parking spaces be electric vehicle ready and electric vehicle capable. Research has shown that most current electric vehicle owners are single-family homeowners who charge at home and providing access to home charging for those in multi-unit dwellings is a much more complicated and expensive process. The Illinois REALTORS® currently OPPOSE HB3125, due to the requirements and costly measures developers, property owners, and home builders would be mandated to implement. The Illinois REALTORS® Legislative Team will be working closely with the sponsor to make sure that the amended language addresses our concerns.

HB3090 (Rep. Harper, D – 6th, Chicago) – Introduced in 2021, HB 3090 creates the Environmental Justice Act. The bill creates a special advisory council to provide advice to the Governor and state agencies on policies to help and protect communities that have historically borne a disproportional level of environmental pollution from construction, industrial, municipal, and commercial activities. The bill directs EPA to revamp the permitting process so that it ensures past noncompliance cumulative effects of the permit application are considered. The Illinois REALTORS® Legislative Team is working with other organizations and the sponsor of the bill to better understand the implications of this bill on the real estate industry. Watch for further developments.

REALTOR® Sandy Hamilton Appointed to State Rep. Seat in Springfield!

Illinois REALTOR® Sandy Hamilton, of RE/MAX Professionals in Springfield, received an unexpected Christmas gift. She was selected by the Sangamon County Republican Central Committee to complete the term of recently resigned State Rep. Mike Murphy (R-Springfield), who stepped down from his 99th District seat in the Illinois House early last month.

Hamilton, whose real estate career spans 24 years, specializes in commercial leasing/sales, residential and new construction. She is a major investor in the REALTORS® Political Action Committee (RPAC).

Balancing her successful real estate career with being a mom of three boys and coaching women’s volleyball at Sacred-Heart Griffin High School (SHG), has prepared her for this new challenge.

“I’m looking forward to this endeavor, it will enable me to work on addressing matters that I’m passionate about, which includes everything from property taxes to property management to homelessness to education. I think I’m pretty prepared for it.”

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