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State Capitol Report

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May 3, 2017

It’s officially HALF-TIME in the General Assembly as last Friday, April 28th was the deadline date for bills to pass the first chamber. Legislation will move to the opposite chamber for committee hearings and floor debate as the General Assembly works toward the scheduled adjournment date of the 2017 spring session on May 31, 2017.

It was an exciting week last week for REALTORS® in Springfield and at the Capitol. Monday we honored Dan Goodwin, chairman and CEO of the Oak Brook based Inland Real Estate Group of Companies, Inc., as the first recipient of the Illinois REALTORS® Lifetime Achievement Award. The ceremony was held at the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Museum and attendees included Governor Rauner and the leaders of the House and Senate. This award is given to an Illinois REALTOR® who has played a key role in shaping housing policy at the local, state and national levels and who has adhered in an exemplary way to the REALTOR® Code of Ethics with an emphasis on professionalism. Tuesday was our annual Capitol Conference lobby day and a record smashing number of REALTORS® were in attendance. Hundreds of REALTORS®, representing ALL parts of the state, came to Springfield to advocate on key issues before the General Assembly. Check out the Illinois REALTORS® website and the Illinois REALTOR® Weekly Connection for highlights!


STATUS OF ILLINOIS REALTORS® TOP ISSUES

Changes to the Real Estate License Act
The Illinois REALTORS® initiative, House Bill 3528 (Rita), to streamline the regulation of education providers, modernize the delivery of courses, provide for more focused course material, and address issues regarding leasing agents, was UNANIMOUSLY approved in the House of Representatives on Friday, April 28th. The Illinois REALTORS® worked with the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation (IDFPR) on this legislation and it was an agreed bill. Among the provisions in the legislation:

  • Absorbs the Real Estate Education Advisory (EAC) Board into the Real Estate Administration and Disciplinary (READ) Board.  The duties of the EAC will be accomplished as a subcommittee of the READ Board.
  • Consolidates and streamlines the licensing of real estate education pre-license, post-license and CE instructors and schools.
  • Updates the education requirements to ensure that courses focus on the most important issues for a licensee to know to best protect the consumer.  The bill also modernizes course delivery options to ensure the best access and use of technology to reflect today’s marketplace.  For example, CE courses could be offered in two-hour rather than 3-hour increments and all course exams would only be required for home study courses.
  • Makes it clear in the law that the leasing agent’s broker can be disciplined for allowing the leasing agent to practice outside the limited scope of the leasing agent provisions.
  • Provides for the inclusion of teaching about the proper supervision of leasing agents as a topic in the managing broker pre-license education curriculum.

HB 3528 has been sent to the Senate for their consideration.  Senator Chuck Weaver will be the Senate sponsor.


Licensed Professions- Denial or Revocation of License Based on Criminal Conviction
The Illinois REALTORS® is NEUTRAL on two identical bills, House Bill 3342 (Sims/Raoul) and Senate Bill 1688 (Raoul/Sims) that were approved last week in the first chamber. These bills amend state law to require the IDFPR to consider mitigating factors before denying or revoking a state license, including a real estate license, if the applicant or licensee has been convicted of a crime. Importantly, these bills allows the IDFPR’s investigation division to review the suitability of the applicant before a license can be issued. The REALTORS® and the Department had concerns with the bills last year, but we feel that this version of the legislation has sufficient protections to address our concerns. HB 3342 narrowly passed the House on a roll call vote of 61-52-0 (60 votes required) and SB 1688 was approved in the Senate on a roll call vote of 43-8-0. The bills will now be considered in the opposite chamber- with the same sponsors.

Contract for Deed Law
Senate Bill 885 (Koehler) is one issue that is currently under review by the Public Policy and Government Affairs MIG.  This bill, still pending in the Senate (deadline was extended to May 31st) makes various changes on the use of “contracts for deed” (CFD) or real estate installment contracts as a vehicle for financing real estate transactions.  Some have expressed concern that the enactment of this bill would severely limit or eliminate the viability of CFD or seller financing.  Owners would be required to follow all of the regulatory requirements that a foreclosing bank would to terminate an agreement with a CFD borrower after only one year into the contract.  The bill also provides for damages, attorney’s fees and a violation of the Consumer Fraud Act if all new rules are not followed. 

PACE Bonds- Funding Energy Improvements for Commercial and Industrial Properties
Another bill SUPPORTED by Illinois REALTORS®, House Bill 2831 (Lang-Fortner-Andersson) was approved in the House last Friday on a roll call vote of 73-28-0.  The legislation creates the Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) Act to provide for this innovative financing mechanism for specified energy efficiency improvements on commercial and industrial properties.  A city or county may establish a clean energy program and create a PACE area by entering into a voluntary assessment contract with the property owner to finance or refinance energy projects.  The repayment of the costs of the energy project are through assessments on the property. Key safeguards include the recording of the voluntary contract; the requirement that there be written consent of the existing mortgage holder; the contractors agree to adhere to terms and conditions established by the unit of local government; the property has no delinquencies; the owner is current on all mortgage debt; the amount of the assessment in relation to the greater of the assessed value of the property or the appraised value cannot exceed 25%.  HB 2831 has been sent to the Senate for their consideration; Senator Karen McConnaughay is the sponsor in the Senate.  A duplicate bill, Senate Bill 1700 (McConnaughay) is pending in the Senate Revenue Committee and is expected to be heard this week.  The Senate has extended the deadline for final consideration of SB 1700 to May 31st. 

Source of Income-Mandatory Section 8
No action to date on Senate Bill 1331 (Bush), the bill that seeks to make it an Illinois Human Rights Act violation to discriminate in a real estate transaction on the basis of a person’s “Source of Income”, which is defined to include Section 8 housing assistance as a “source of income.”  As you are aware, we have OPPOSED this measure since its introduction in February.  We view this, in essence, as mandating that rental property owners participate in the Section 8 program.  The REALTOR® organization supports and promotes many federal, state, and local housing programs including Section 8; and the Section 8 program is one in which many of our members choose to participate.  Our core problem with this proposal has always been that property owners should not be REQUIRED to enroll, which this bill essentially does.  The Section 8 program requires owners to sign an extensive contract with HUD, dictated by HUD, and be subject to strict HUD inspections and other requirements.  In short, some property owners simply don’t want to be subject to terms dictated by HUD regarding their rental property.  The Senate has extended the deadline for committee consideration of this measure until May 5, 2017 so we will remain vigilant although we believe the sponsor is not inclined to call the bill for a vote this spring. 

Rent Control- Repeal of Statewide Ban
We are hopeful that no action will occur on the effort to repeal the rent control prohibition.  As you recall, we launched a Call for Action earlier this session in OPPOSITION to House Bill 2430 (Guzzardi) which would repeal the statewide ban on home rule units’ power to impose rent control measures.  The bill was assigned to the House Judiciary Civil Law Committee but never called for a vote.  It specifically sought to repeal a statute advocated by the Illinois REALTORS and passed into law in 1997.  Rent control is widely discredited by economists and many housing advocates.  It is destructive and counterproductive in many ways, it is difficult to administer and would have many unintended consequences.  It is a disincentive to invest in rental property and shrinks funds available for maintenance and improvements.  This legislation is INACTIVE and has been re-referred to the House Rules Committee.

State Tax Lien Registry- No Local Recording
Senate Bill 1280 (Althoff) is an initiative of the Illinois Department of Revenue and a repeat of a bill that was stopped in the 2016 session.  This measure is OPPOSED by the Illinois REALTORS®.  SB 1280 seeks to establish a State Tax Lien Registry and would allow the Department of Revenue to file their tax liens in the STATE registry in lieu of recording it at the County Recorder’s Office.  We believe that this proposal would change the system in a significant way by creating a whole SECOND location for the registering of liens on title.  Rather than simplifying the system, we believe that this bill makes it more complex.  We do not believe that a case has been made to change a system that works well.  There is no appreciable delay in recording or release times; closings currently occur that include payoffs and releases; the State is reimbursed their recording fees when liens are paid off; and the State already pays a substantially lower recording fee than others.  We believe the current “one stop shop” is the best for property owners and is accessible and reliable.  The Illinois Association of County Clerks and Recorders and the Illinois Land Title Association is also opposed.  While not yet called for a vote, the Senate has extended the deadline for consideration of this measure in the Senate Revenue Committee to May 5th.  The duplicate bill in the House, House Bill 2450 (Zalewski), is INACTIVE.

Granting Home Rule Powers to Non-Home Rule Units
House Bills 511 and 3639 (Breen) are also repeats from 2016 and appear to be stalled again this year.  These bills were STRONGLY OPPOSED by the Illinois REALTORS® as we believe both violate the Illinois Constitutional provisions governing how units of local government can be designated as home rule units.  These bills attempted to simply grant non-home rule municipalities and counties the power to exercise all powers provided to home rule units by the Constitution with the exception of the powers to tax, impose fees or incur debt.  However, there are significant regulatory powers that would be granted.  We believe that the Illinois Constitution is VERY CLEAR and that the framers delineated how a unit of local government would be designated home rule powers-either by its population (25,000) OR by an affirmative vote of the residents.  We do not believe the General Assembly can modify this Constitutional provision without an amendment to the Illinois Constitution.  Both bills are currently INACTIVE.

Criminal Building Management
House Bill 531 (Willis) was another issue that was before the General Assembly in 2016 but not advanced.  This year an agreement was reached on the bill and the REALTORS® are now NEUTRAL.  HB 531 amends the Criminal Code to add the new offense “First Responder Endangerment”.  A person commits this offense when he or she (1) knowingly creates a dangerous condition and (2) intentionally conceals the dangerous condition in a commercial property under his or her management or operational control and, (3) the dangerous condition is the primary cause of the death or serious bodily injury of a first responder in the course of his or her official duties.  Key terms are defined in the bill and the new offense is established as a Class 4 felony.  After several meetings with other opponents, the sponsor and proponents, the end result was this agreed bill. The House unanimously APPROVED the bill on Friday, April 28th and sent the bill to the Senate for their consideration.  Senator Martin Sandoval will be the sponsor in the Senate.   

Smoke Detectors
House Bill 3773 (Willis) is yet another repeat issue that is still under review this spring session.  This bill was approved in the House on Friday, April 28th on a roll call vote of 102-7-1 with the understanding that further discussions would occur in the Senate for possible additional clarifications.   HB 3773 redrafted the objectionable provisions that had been defeated in the 2016 session.  Current law imposes a mandate to require owners of single and multi-family “dwelling units” built before July 1, 1988 to have operating smoke detectors in the unit.  HB 3773 would require owners to replace their smoke detectors with self-contained units that have a long term battery if their existing smoke detectors are more than 10 years old and do not operate.  The replacement mandate would only apply after an inspector of a pre-1988 dwelling unit finds that the smoke detector is at least 10 years old and fails to respond to an operability test.  The bill also provides for a “90-day warning” to comply then an initial $100 fine for non-compliance which would be waived if the violation is corrected prior to or on the date of the hearing scheduled to adjudicate the alleged violation.    Senator Martin Sandoval will be the sponsor in the Senate.

Title Insurance Legislation
(Senate Bill 65 (Hastings) requires that in a transaction for the sale and purchase of residential real property, the title insurance company issuing the owner’s policy must issue the lender’s (buyer’s) title insurance policy unless the parties agree otherwise or the buyer or seller is offered a discounted premium or economic benefit as an inducement to split the title insurance properties.  This bill, in effect, would restrict “bifurcated title” transactions.  This bill is still pending in the Senate as the deadline was extended to May 31st.  The Illinois REALTORS® is NEUTRAL.

House Bill 2702 (Hoffman) was approved in the House on Friday, April 28th on a roll call vote of 93-1-0 and has been sent to the Senate.  This bill amends the Title Insurance Act to allow “independent escrowees” to issue “closing protection letters” (CPLs).  Under current law, only title insurance companies are authorized to issue CPLs.  The Illinois REALTORS is NEUTRAL.  Senator Michael Hastings will be the sponsor in the Senate.
 
Expansion of Authority to Create County Stormwater Management Committees
House Bill 2756 (Fortner) was approved in the House on Friday April 28th on a roll call vote of 100-11-0 after discussions were hold among the various stakeholders.  Due to concerns raised by REALTOR® lobbyists, the bill was amended from the version introduced to be more restrictive in the number of counties that were added to the section of the Counties Code that contained the authorizing language for counties to create stormwater committees.  Currently, Cook County, the collar counties and ten downstate counties have the authority to establish these planning committees by a resolution adopted by the county board for management and mitigation of the effects of urbanization on stormwater drainage.  As introduced, the bill would have granted authority to all counties but, as amended, the legislation will only add those counties that contain all or part of an urbanized area (consistent with the underlying intent of the statute).  “Urbanized Area” is defined as a statistical geographical entity consisting of a densely settled core created from census tracts or blocks and contiguous qualifying territory that together have a minimum population of at least 50,000 persons and has been delineated as an urbanized area by the United States Census Bureau after the most recent decennial census.  This is expected to add 10 additional counties.  Other counties could create the stormwater management planning committee only IF authorized to do so by the voters in a frontdoor referendum.  These committees have various regulatory powers, including the authority to impose fees to mitigate increased runoff due to new development.  The Illinois law for the downstate counties also permit the imposition of   either a property tax OR sales tax if approved by the voters.  This legislation also adds language that permits the committee in any of the counties to make grants to landowners, units of local government and not-for-profit organizations (intending to include a homeowner’s association) for purposes consistent with provisions of the adopted plan.  If a municipality receives grant money they must be partially or wholly within a mapped floodplain and have an ordinance in place requiring actions consistent with the stormwater management plan.  The amended version removes our opposition and we are now NEUTRAL.  Senator Tony Munoz will be the Senate sponsor.  A duplicate bill, Senate Bill 1337 (Rezin) was heard in the Senate Local Government Committee this week and the sponsor indicated that she was going to continue to work on refining this measure.

County Recorder Fee Schedules
House Bill 3036 (Walsh) was approved in the House on Thursday, April 27th on a roll call vote of 81-32-0.  This bill was the result of negotiations between the Illinois REALTORS®, the Illinois Association of County Clerks and Recorders and the Illinois Land Title Association.  The bill establishes a predictable fee schedule that will eliminate surcharges or fees based upon the individual attributes of documents to be recorded with the county recorder.  The bill is aimed, in part, at minimizing errors in estimating and disclosing recording fees, especially given the strictures of the TRID process.  The bill divides fees for standard documents into five classifications of document class flat fees, which would be inclusive of county and state fees required for each recorded document.  Also included in the bill is the requirement for a cost study to be completed prior to increasing a document class flat fee to show that the increase is needed because the document class flat fees are not sufficient to cover the cost of providing the service.  We SUPPORT this measure.  Senator Emil Jones, III, the Chairman of the Senate Local Government Committee, will be the Senate sponsor. 

Toxic Mold
House Bill 2911 (Bellock) sought to create the Mold Remediation Registration Fund and require the Illinois Department of Public Health to adopt rules to implement a program to register those that provide remediation services.  The bill, however, also contained a provision that would amend the Seller Disclosure law to add reference to “toxic mold”.  The Illinois REALTORS® OPPOSED this provision since NO standards as to what “toxic mold” is has been adopted by the EPA or Department of Public Health.  The bill was also OPPOSED for language added to the Landlord/Tenant Act which would allow termination of lease.  This bill had been assigned to the House Judiciary Civil Law Committee but was never called for a vote and is now INACTIVE.

Other Amendments to the Seller Disclosure Act
House Bill 3118 (Jesiel) and House Bill 3434 (Wheeler, K.) both sought to add objectionable provisions to the Seller Disclosure Act.  HB 3118 would have added that the seller is aware that the property is subject to condominium, homeowners’ association or other restrictive covenants.  We objected to this addition as contrary to the intent of the Act which is to provide for the disclosure of known material defects.  HB 3434 sought to add language that provides that upon signing and dating the disclosure report that the prospective buyer accepts and acknowledges that they have received the disclosure report in its entirety.  Both bills were sent to the House Judiciary Civil Law Committee but were not called and are both now INACTIVE. 

Elimination of Public Notices in Newspapers
The Illinois REALTORS® continue to OPPOSE efforts by units of local government to end the requirement to publish notices in newspapers and simply allow them to post such notices on their websites. Senate Bill 2032 (Oberweis) is one of those bills that is still active and was narrowly approved in the Senate Local Government Committee with the stipulation that the bill would only be advanced further IF it was an agreed bill.  We continue to encourage units of local government to do both as an enhancement to transparency.   

Assessment Changes for Commercial Properties
A package of bills introduced by Senator Steve Stadelman (D-Rockford) related to property tax assessment appeals for commercial properties remain active in the Senate due to the extension of the deadline until May 5th.  Senate Bills 1791-1794 all impose significant changes to the tax appeal process for specified properties and the Illinois REALTORS® remains OPPOSED to these bills due to the impact on the local Boards of Review and the Property Tax Appeal Board.  Another bill Senate Bill 1460 (Holmes) which would have deemed certain deed restrictions as void and unenforceable was also OPPOSED but the sponsor has indicated that she would not advance the bill.  

Property Tax Extension Limitation Law
The Illinois REALTORS® continue to track efforts to address rising property taxes in the State.  Discussions will continue this session to amend the existing Property Tax Extension Limitation Law (PTELL), commonly referred to as the “property tax cap law”.  The provisions of this law first began in 1991 for the collar counties.  Cook County was added in 1994 and ultimately it was extended to apply to all counties if approved by the voters in a referendum.  One critical thing to note, however, is that the law NEVER applied to home rule units.  The law limits an increase in property tax extensions to the lesser of 5% or the increase in the Consumer Price Index for the year proceeding the levy year.  This limitation can be increased by a vote of those subject to the law.  This issue has also been highlighted by the Governor.  

Consolidation/Streamlining Local Governments/Township Offices
The Illinois REALTORS® SUPPORTS legislation and discussion in both chambers of the General Assembly to make it easier to consolidate and streamline local governmental units.  There were several bills introduced this year, which we SUPPORT.  Of particular note is Senate Bill 3 (Cullerton, T) which is part of the Senate’s “grand bargain” package of bills for reform and budget relief.  This bill was approved in the Senate at the end of February on a roll call vote of 43-14-2 but has not yet been reported to the House.  This bill would allow ALL counties authority to dissolve or consolidate governmental functions- similar to what is currently allowed in DuPage, Lake and McHenry counties.  It also enacts various changes to make it easier to consolidate or merge townships, discontinue coterminous townships and to abolish township road districts with less than 15 miles of roads.

House Bill 607 (Yingling) was approved in the House on Thursday, April 27th on a roll call vote of 75-34-3.  This bill amends the Illinois Highway Code to provide that no township road district may continue if the roads forming a part of the district do not exceed a total of 4 centerline miles in length. The bill also establishes the procedure that must be followed to abolish a township road district for all counties; a procedure has been in Illinois law for those township road districts in Cook County.  This bill has been sent to the Senate for their consideration- Senator Dan Biss is the Senate sponsor. 

Senate Bill 909 (Bush) is still pending in the Senate with an extended deadline for consideration set for May 31st.  This bill, limited to Lake County, would allow the county board OR the voters (by backdoor referendum) to discontinue the office of township assessor throughout the county.  If authorized, the assessor’s office would be terminated at the end of each township assessor’s term.  At that time, the Chief County Assessment Officer of Lake County assumes the duties of the township assessor; the county board members become the board of health for any public health district in the township; and the office of the township collector ceases and the county treasurer assumes those duties. 

House Bill 3521 (Butler) has been approved in the House and is pending in the Senate Government Reform Committee this week.  This bill, limited to Sangamon County, adds language to the Township Code to discontinue the office of the township collector on January 1, 2022.  The Sangamon County Treasurer will assume the duties of the township collectors.  Should a vacancy occur in any township collector’s office PRIOR to the January 2022 date the vacancy shall NOT be filled and the treasurer would immediately assume the duties.   Senator Bill Brady is the Senate sponsor.

Other legislative measures are pending and we will continue to actively track these bills as they continue to move through the legislative process.  


UPDATE AND STATUS OF OTHER ISSUES

NO DOUBLE TAXATION ON NEWLY CONSTRUCTED RESIDENCES
House Bill 3826 (Fortner) was UNANIMOUSLY approved in the House early last week.  This bill provides that for the FIRST sale of a newly constructed and unoccupied house that had an impact fee assessed and collected by a school district, park district, municipality or county the home rule municipal transfer tax (if one exists) CANNOT also be assessed.  The city of Chicago is exempted from the provisions of this bill.  The Illinois REALTORS® SUPPORTS this bill which has been sent to the Senate.  Senator Michael Connelly is the Senate sponsor.

FAIR AND REASONABLE TOWNSHIP WATER/SEWER RATES BILL ADVANCES
Senate Bill 60 (Clayborne), a bill that clarifies that rates and charges for water and sewer use and/or connection must be fair and reasonable was UNANIMOUSLY approved in the Senate last week.  The bill also clarifies the provisions of the current law related to a cost study that can be requested and clearly defines “connection charge”.  This bill has been sent to the House for their consideration.  The Illinois REALTORS® is NEUTRAL.  

AMENDMENT TO THE SECURITY DEPOSIT RETURN ACT
The House unanimously approved House Bill 3001 (Rita) on Friday, April 28th and the bill is now pending in the Senate.  The bill, as approved, makes various changes to the Security Deposit Return Act.  The changes includes costs to replace items in addition to the repair.  Language is also added to provide that if a written lease specifies the cost for cleaning, repair or replacement of any component of the leased premises or any component of the building or common areas that, if damaged, will not be replaced, the lessor may withhold the dollar amount specified in the lease.  The itemized statement must reference the dollar amount specified in the written lease associated with the specific building component or amenity and include a copy of the applicable portion of the lease.  Deductions for costs or values not specified in the lease still will require an itemized statement and paid receipts or, if unable to produce receipts, an itemized list of the cost of the repair or replacement along with a verified statement of why no receipts could be produced.  Though this bill, on first review, seems anti-landlord, upon further review, the bill provides greater clarity and protections for landlords.  The Illinois REALTORS® is NEUTRAL. 

CONDOMINIUM/COMMON INTEREST COMMUNITY ASSOCIATION ACT
On Thursday, April 27th the House nearly unanimously approved an agreed bill making various changes to the laws governing Common Interest Community Associations and condominiums.  These changes, contained in House Bill 189 (Thapedi-Andersson), was the result of hearings in the House Judiciary Civil Law Committee.  This was a package of non-controversial changes.  The Illinois REALTORS® was NEUTRAL.  Senate President John Cullerton is the Senate sponsor.

Senate Bill 1818 (Althoff) was unanimously approved in the Senate on Thursday, April 27th.  Among the changes in the bill which amends the Community Association Manager Licensing and Disciplinary Act is the removal of reference to a “supervising community association manager” throughout the Act.  The bill also limits licensure of a community association manager to an individual.  This bill will be sponsored by Representative Elaine Nekritz in the House.

House Bill 3755 (Drury) amends the Condominium Property Act to provide that in any litigation or arbitration between a unit owner and a Condominium Association, under specified situations (which seem to cover key unit owner vs. Association dispute areas), if the unit owner is deemed to be the “substantially prevailing party”, then the unit owner is entitled to reasonable attorney’s fees and costs incurred.  Current law allows Condominium Associations to add attorney’s fees to an owners’ “common expense” bill, but this is no current provision to award attorney’s fees to owners if they prevail.  The passed the House with the bare minimum 60 votes in the House, and discussion and debate will continue in the Senate.  Senator Emil Jones, III is the Senate sponsor.   The Illinois REALTORS® is NEUTRAL.

Senate Bill 882 (Mulroe) amends the Common Interest Community Association (CICA) Act and the Condominium Property Act to provide that the association shall have one class of voting membership (instead of “one class of membership”) unless the declaration, bylaws, or operating agreement provide otherwise.  Further amends the Condominium Property Act to delete language providing that if the property contains 4 or more units, the owners may agree to sell the property by a vote of 75%.  Instead, the bill states that if the property contains at least 4 but not more than 6 unis, a vote of 75% of the owners is required to sell the condominium property.  If the property contains 7 or more units, a vote of 85% of the owners is required to sell the condominium property.  This bill was approved in the Senate last week on a roll call vote of 54-1-1.  Representative Andre Thapedi will be the House sponsor.  The Illinois REALTORS® is NEUTRAL.

Senate Bill 948 and 949 (Hastings) were both nearly unanimously approved in the Senate last week. These bills make minor procedural changes to the Common Interest Community Association (CICA) Act and the Condominium Property Act.  SB 948 amends the Acts regarding notice to owners and closed meetings.   SB 949 amends the CICA Act regarding the notice and approval process when the Association’s instruments require lender or lienholder approval of certain action.  Representative Andre Thapedi will sponsor both bills in the House.  The Illinois REALTORS® is NEUTRAL.

EDGE TAX CREDIT LEGISLATION ADVANCES
House Bill 1125 (Manley) was approved in the House on Friday, April 28th on a roll call vote of 107-3-0.  This bill extends the Economic Development for a Growing Economy (EDGE) tax credit through the end of May while the House and Senate continue to discuss the merits of this or similar tax incentive programs.  The credit had an expiration of April 30, 2017.  The Illinois REALTORS® will continue to MONITOR the status of this economic development incentive.  Senate President John Cullerton will be the sponsor in the Senate.

Senate Bill 1567 (Castro) was UNANIMOUSLY approved in the Senate last week.  SB 1567 amends the EDGE Act to require each taxpayer that claims a credit under the Act to submit to the Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity, no later than April 15th of each taxable year, a report that contains specified information.  Representative Will Davis will be the House sponsor.

MILITARY ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT COMMITTEE PASSES HOUSE
House Bill 3032 (Butler) was UNANIMOUSLY approved in the House on Friday, April 28th.  This bill is intended to preserve, protect, expand and attract new military missions, assets and installations in Illinois.  It would also be the vehicle to encourage defense related businesses to expand or relocate to the state.  This would be a clearinghouse to elected officials and provide assistance to communities that could be or have been impacted by military realignments or base closings. The Illinois REALTORS® will continue to report on this legislation as it advances in the Senate.  Senator Paul Schimpf will sponsor this legislation in the Senate.

EXPANSION OF ERRONEOUS HOMESTEAD EXEMPTION PROGRAM STALLS
House Bill 2428 (Spain) was introduced this year at the request of Peoria County to extend the current erroneous homestead exemption program in place in Cook County to ALL counties.  An amendment was filed to provide that counties could opt in rather automatically including all counties BUT the bill was not advanced and is now INACTIVE.

COOK COUNTY – SENIOR CITIZEN HOMESTEAD EXEMPTION CHANGES ADVANCES
Senate Bill 1979 (Cunningham) was unanimously approved in the Senate late last week.  This bill would allow the Cook County Board the authority to waive the annual application for persons granted a senior citizens homestead exemption.  All other counties currently have this authority.  The bill also requires the assessor to mail a notice to a new owner of property that had received a senior citizen homestead exemption informing the new owner that the exemption will remain in place through the year of the transfer, after which it will be cancelled.  The Illinois REALTORS® are NEUTRAL.  Representative Fran Hurley will be the sponsor in the House.

PROPERTY TAX CHANGES OF NOTE ADVANCE
Senate Bill 1795 (Stadelman) was unanimously approved last week in the Senate and the bill is now pending in the House.  SB 1795 amends the Property Tax Code concerning tax abatements after acquisition by a governmental unit.  This bill would extend the authority to abate to property acquired by a governmental unit under a blight reduction or abandoned property program administered by IHDA.  Representative Litesa Wallace is the House sponsor. 

Senate Bill 1385 (Weaver) also received a unanimous vote in the Senate last week.  This bill provides that the abatement for property located in an area of urban decay also applies to newly remodeled single-family or duplex residential dwelling units.  Currently the abatement was limited to NEW construction.  This bill will be sponsored in the House by Representative Ryan Spain.

SURPLUS TAX INCREMENT FINANCING (TIF) FUNDS
House Bill 3720 (Harper) was approved last week on a roll call vote of 75-39-0.  This bill would provide that surplus tax revenues can be used to pay for costs of special education, social services, and other costs of a public school district.  Further, the bill provides that in Chicago redevelopment project costs include public school district qualified workers, costs of providing special educational facilities and services, school psychological services and school social work services and any balance in the special tax allocation fund at the end of the fiscal year shall be used for these workers, facilities and services.  The Illinois REALTORS® is monitoring this legislation.  Senator Omar Aquino will be the sponsor in the Senate.

PREDATORY LENDING DATABASE- CHANGES
Senate Bill 776 (Nybo) amends the Predatory Lending Database law to make minor procedural changes regarding when a borrower must submit certain information.  The bill also includes references to TRID.  Representative LaShawn Ford will sponsor this bill in the House.

ABANDONED HOUSING REHABILITATION ACT CHANGES
Senate Bill 1562 (Cunningham) was unanimously approved in the Senate and the bill has been sent to the House for their consideration.  This bill makes some minor technical and definitional changes to the Act.  This bill will be sponsored by House Majority Leader Barbara Flynn Currie in the House. 

SESSION SCHEDULE THIS WEEK/NEXT STATE CAPITOL REPORT
Watch for the next State Capitol Report NEXT week since only the Senate is scheduled for session and there is a very limited committee hearing schedule.