Illinois General Assembly End of Session Report and City Council Update

Advocacy News,

General Assembly Session Summary 

This was a vastly different legislative session from previous sessions. First, Illinois has a budget that was passed by both Democrats and Republicans and was quickly signed into law by the Governor. Most importantly, the budget, which will become effective on July 1, 2018 appears to be a good budget for Illinois. 

The state budget has a combined total of $80.26 billion in expenditures. This represents an increase of $1.1 billion over last year, paid for with a mix of increasing tax collections resulting from growth in the economy, changes in human service program payments to federal Medicaid, and some program reductions. Of the total budget, $38.5 billion is from General Revenue Funds, made up of tax collections from the state's tax base including the state income tax, state sales taxes, and other taxes. 

Specific to the Chicagoland Apartment Association, this past legislative session was full of several issues ranging from rent control to sealed eviction records, to immigrant tenant protections to emotional support animals. Below please see a highlight of bills CAA was involved in during session.

Highlight of CAA Legislation 

Appointment Message 1000281 -- APPOINT - Real Estate Director 

Sponsor: Sen. Antonio Muñoz 

Nominates Kreg Allison to be Director of IDFPR. From the beginning of Governor Rauner's term, this nomination has been held. It is unclear when action will be taken on this appointment.


House Sponsors: Rep. Will Guzzardi-Kelly M. Cassidy-Carol Ammons, Elizabeth Hernandez, Luis Arroyo, LaToya Greenwood, Camille Y. Lilly, Silvana Tabares, Theresa Mah and Gregory Harris 

Repeals the Rent Control Preemption Act. There was never a hearing on this bill during the 2018 Spring Session and has been returned to the House Rules Committee. Please note that several legislators have added their name as sponsors to this bill. CAA strongly opposes this bill and continues to work diligently against the issue of Rent Control. To make our voice louder, CAA has partnered with a coalition to oppose rent control in Illinois. "Lift the Ban" rallies are now being held throughout the city. The Chicago Teachers' Union has recently joined the tenant groups in supporting rent control.


House Sponsors: Rep. Michael D. Unes-André Thapedi-Norine K. Hammond-Emanuel Chris Welch-Terri Bryant, David S. Olsen, Tony McCombie, Linda Chapa LaVia, Jerry Costello, II, Michael Halpin, Jonathan Carroll, Mark Batinick, LaToya Greenwood, Natalie A. Manley and Katie Stuart 

Senate Sponsors: (Sen. David Koehler-Thomas Cullerton, Jennifer Bertino-Tarrant-Laura M. Murphy, Michael E. Hastings, Julie A. Morrison, Wm. Sam McCann, Neil Anderson, Cristina Castro and Bill Cunningham) 

Provides that if a military service member who has entered into certain residential leases is killed in action or while on active duty, then the immediate family or dependents of the service member may terminate the lease. CAA supports this bill that which was sent to the Governor on June 14, 2018.


House Sponsors: Rep. Theresa Mah-Emanuel Chris Welch-Juliana Stratton, Elizabeth Hernandez, Christian L. Mitchell, Camille Y. Lilly, Sonya M. Harper, Carol Ammons, Nicholas K Smith, Will Guzzardi, Arthur Turner, Rita Mayfield, LaToya Greenwood, Thaddeus Jones, Justin Slaughter, Mary E. Flowers, Marcus C. Evans, Jr., William Davis and Al Riley 

Provides that upon the filing of an eviction action, the clerk of the circuit court shall immediately seal the court file. Fundamentally, CAA opposes this legislation. We believe this legislation goes against provisions of the Constitution and a long history of case law. The common law right of access to court records has been deemed by the Illinois Supreme Court to be "essential to the proper functioning of a democracy." Many hours of negotiations took place on this bill. The supporters of this bill plan to offer new language to this bill for the Fall Veto Session. The bill passed out of the House Judiciary Committee but was held on passage stage in the House, so it did not pass. It has now been returned to the House Rules Committee.


House Sponsor: Rep. André Thapedi 

Creates the Assistance and Service Animal Integrity Act to address a lack of clarity in laws governing emotional support animals. The bill provides apartment owners the ability to verify a disability and need for an assistance animal from residents who request them. This legislation was held along with all bills that included penalties for criminal offenses. Initially, HB4912 contained penalties for misrepresentation of an animal as an assistance animal or service animal. An amended to remove this provision was offered, but after deadlines allowing the bill to advance so the bill did not advance this session. This bill was introduced at the suggestion of the Illinois Manufactured Housing Association and supported by CAA. Additional discussions are expected on this bill throughout the summer and fall. A new version of this legislation will be introduced next January. CAA will continue to work towards passage of this important legislation. 


House Sponsor: Rep. Tom Demmer and Jonathan Carroll 

Senate Sponsor: (Sen. Pamela J. Althoff) 

This legislation was introduced at the suggestion of the Governor to make changes to the Real Estate License Act regarding branch offices. After negotiations, the bill was amended to require every partner of a partnership, limited liability partner of a limited liability partnership, and every member or manager in the limited liability company that actively participates in the real estate activities to hold a license as a managing broker or broker to be granted a license or engage in the business. The bill also requires that all nonparticipating owners submit affidavits of non-participation as required IDFPR. The bill provides that no person shall be granted a license if any participating owner, officer, director, partner, limited liability partner, member, or manager has been denied a real estate licensed by IDFPR in the previous 5 years or is otherwise currently barred from real estate practice because of a suspension or revocation. In addition, the bill removes language concerning the brokerage business where a leasing agent controls specified shares of stock or ownership. CAA monitored this legislation which passed both houses and is awaiting the Governor's action.


Senate Sponsor: Sen. Antonio Muñoz 

In the final hours of session and without advance notice to CAA, Senate Amendment 1 was offered to allow the bill to create the In-Building Radio Coverage Enhancement Act. Without getting into the technical specifics, this amendment mandated that all commercial and apartment buildings conduct an "assessment to determine whether the building has approved radio coverage," and then mandate the installation of an "approved emergency radio coverage enhancement system." Very quickly, organized opposition to this bill were able to convince the sponsor to hold this legislation. This amendment was introduced at the suggestion of Honeywell as the manufacturer of the approved emergency radio.


Senate Sponsors: Sen. Daniel Biss and Martin A. Sandoval 

Identical to HB 2430 (above) this bill would repeal the Rent Control Preemption Act allowing rent control to be instituted throughout Illinois by all municipalities. On May 2, 2018 a subcommittee of the Senate Executive Committee held a hearing and this bill was posted to be heard. Mike Mini, Executive Director traveled to Springfield to present testimony in opposition to this legislation. At the last minute, this bill was not called. The following week CAA members were in Springfield for Advocacy Day and to lobby against Rent Control. In addition, CAA is working with a newly formed coalition of others who oppose Rent Control (CAA, Illinois REALTORS, Illinois Rental Property Owners Association and the Illinois Manufactured Housing Association) to oppose this legislation that did not move in the legislative process this year. CAA encourages legislators to focus on attracting more multifamily housing to be built, translating to lower prices through increased supply, while delivering needed units to keep pace with soaring demand. 


Senate Sponsor: Sen. Pamela J. Althoff 

House Sponsor: (Rep. Keith R. Wheeler) 

Requires IDFPR to make available on its website general information on how it uses criminal history information in its decisions on licensure applications, including a list of enumerated offenses that bar licensure (rather than requiring IDFPR to have rules on how a person with criminal history would apply for a non-binding, advisory opinion from IDFPR as to whether his or her criminal history would bar licensure). Effective immediately. CAA monitored this legislation brought forth from the Governor.


Senate Sponsor: Sen. Chuck Weaver 

House Sponsor: (Rep. Tony McCombie) 

This bill amends various acts including the Real Estate License Act to slightly change the term limitations for the Real Estate Administration and Disciplinary Board. This bill was introduced at the suggestion of the Governor and is pending final approval by him. CAA was neutral on this bill. 


Senate Sponsors: Sen. Bill Cunningham-Chris Nybo-Napoleon Harris, III 

Amends the Biometric Information Privacy Act to provides that nothing in the Act shall be deemed to apply to a private entity collecting, storing, or transmitting biometric information if: (i) the biometric information is used exclusively for employment, human resources, fraud prevention, or security purposes; (ii) the private entity does not sell, lease, trade, or similarly profit from the biometric identifier or biometric information collected; or (iii) the private entity stores, transmits, and protects the biometric identifiers and biometric information in a manner that is the same as or more protective than the manner in which the private entity stores, transmits, and protects other confidential and sensitive information. CAA supports this information brought forth by the Illinois Retail Merchants Association and the Illinois State Chamber of Commerce. Governor Rauner considers this a very important issue. It is expected that this bill will be considered at a later date.


Senate Sponsors: Sen. Cristina Castro-Iris Y. Martinez, Omar Aquino, Kimberly A. Lightford, Ira I. Silverstein, Patricia Van Pelt, Martin A. Sandoval, Kwame Raoul and Antonio Muñoz 

House Sponsors: (Rep. Theresa Mah-Elizabeth Hernandez-Emanuel Chris Welch-Juliana Stratton-André Thapedi, Silvana Tabares, Barbara Flynn Currie, Christian L. Mitchell, Cynthia Soto, Will Guzzardi, Linda Chapa LaVia and Anna Moeller) 

Creates the Immigrant Tenant Protection Act. As introduced, the bill would have created a new legal cause of action with the threat of money damages for tenants, as well as statutory third-party standing for injunctive relief for non-profit advocacy groups, money damages and recovery of attorney's fees. It was CAA's position that creation of the new private cause of action would result in unnecessary and costly litigation. Further, adequate legal remedies already exist. After hours of negotiations the bill was changed significantly. Amendment #3 changed the definition of "immigration or citizenship status"; made changes concerning prohibited conduct; removed references to occupants and persons known to the landlord to be associated with a tenant or occupant; made changes in the Eviction Article of the Code of Civil Procedure concerning affirmative defenses related to the Immigrant Tenant Protection Act; and provided that an eviction order may not be entered against a tenant as a reprisal for or on the basis of the tenant's immigration or citizenship status (rather than for a tenant's efforts to secure remedies under the Immigrant Tenant Protection Act). With the amendment CAA removed our opposition to the bill and took a neutral position on the bill which passed both houses and will be sent to the Governor. 


Senate Sponsor: Sen. Pamela J. Althoff-Michael Connelly 

House Sponsor: (Rep. Tom Demmer) 

Requires a limited liability company that provides professional services and requires registration with IDFPR may convert to a professional limited liability company by simply filing the appropriate forms with the Secretary of State and not be charged a fee for branch offices. CAA monitored this legislation which passed both houses and will be sent to the Governor where he is expected to sign this into law. 


Senate Sponsors: Sen. Mattie Hunter-Patricia Van Pelt, Kimberly A. Lightford-Jacqueline Y. Collins, Martin A. Sandoval, Daniel Biss, Kwame Raoul, Antonio Muñoz and Omar Aquino 

Creates the Rent Control Act to establish County Rent Control Boards in every county. Duties of each Board would include establishing countywide rent-controlled amounts for renting to households of specified income levels and calculating an average rent for dwellings in the county. Provides that a Board must establish regulations concerning rent for households of specified income levels, including: restrictions on increasing rent-controlled amounts; notice to tenants before increasing rent; creation of a reserve account by property owners for repairs and capital improvements; and other regulations. Adds an income tax credit equal to the difference between the rent-controlled amount and the average rent established by a County Rent Control Board and an income tax credit for an amount equal to the amount of capital improvements to property a taxpayer owns and rents to households of specified income levels. Repeals the Rent Control Preemption Act. Although this bill did not move in the legislative process, a hearing was held in the Senate Executive Subcommittee on May 2, 2018 where CAA Executive Director Mike Mini testified in opposition to SB3512. Several groups in support of the bill also testified. No vote was taken, and it was recommended that all interested parties discuss together possible affordable housing options and rent control. CAA pledged to meet with the organizations this summer. 


Senate Sponsor: Sen. Martin A. Sandoval 

Repeals the Rent Control Preemption Act to allow rent control to be adopted in all communities throughout Illinois. CAA was prepared to testify against this bill in the Senate Executive Subcommittee, but the bill was not called for consideration. The bill never moved in the legislative process but is expected to be re-introduced next year. CAA will continue to vigorously oppose this legislation. 

Chicago City Council Update 

ARO Amendment 
Ald. Ervin (28), Ald. Burnett (27) and Ald. Scott (24) introduced an ordinance to amend the Affordable Requirements Ordinance (ARO) and two pilot areas that were established. This amendment would give the Department of Planning & Development (DPD) Commissioner the authority to approve alternate methods of compliance with the ARO pilot programs and the 2015 ARO. Alternate methods may include modifications to the number and size of required affordable units. The Commissioner must find these alternative modes of compliance will result in greater benefits, including larger affordable units or greater affordability levels, than would otherwise result from the strict application of the ARO. CAA's Legislative Committee discussed this ordinance and developed language to also include location and delivery timing among the things the Commissioner can consider when looking at alternative methods of compliance. CAA will work with the sponsors to encourage inclusion of this amendatory language in the final ordinance. The ordinance hasn't been scheduled for a hearing yet as city officials are still reviewing it. 

Energy Benchmarking 
Mike Mini has been working with the City on the energy benchmarking ordinance, particularly to get clarification on the types of buildings that fall under the Utility Cost Disclosure ordinance. Under the energy benchmarking ordinance, if a building is subject to the Utility Cost Disclosure ordinance then the building does not have to provide the building's energy score in its leases or advertising. Buildings that must disclose utility costs under the Utility Cost Disclosure ordinance include those for which heat is individually metered, including by a third party through a sub metering or allocation or other calculation methodology directly related to individual unit usage. Thus, the only buildings that would not be able to take advantage of this utility cost disclosure exemption so as not to have to include benchmarking scores in leases and advertising are buildings that are centrally heated, and the owner pays for the heat and buildings that divide heating cost by some calculation (i.e. dividing cost by number of units) that is not related to individual unit usage. CAA will continue to work with the City to ensure the best outcome for CAA members. 

Just Cause Eviction Proposal 
Ald. Moreno (1) circulated a draft proposal that he was considering introducing to the City Council on May 23. Under this proposal, evicting tenants in Chicago would become for more difficult than it is today. It would also give tenants expanded rights to remain in their units. As drafted it would grant tenants the right to cure for non-payment of rent beyond the 5 days now provided to the date a judge issues an eviction order. It would prohibit a property owner from filing an eviction action for non-payment of rent until a tenant has four repeat non-payment of rent instances in a 12-month period. It would provide greater financial assistance for relocation in the event resident's unit is converted from apartment to condominium. Property owners would have to provide relocation assistance if a property owner chooses to occupy a unit or provide tenancy to a family member. A tenant who is vacating a unit due to substantial or mandated repairs, unit demolition or removal of the unit from the market is also entitled to relocation assistance. It would prohibit rent increases more than 20% or require the property owner to pay relocation assistance. Additionally, the ordinance establishes special notice periods for rent increases. 

Upon learning that Ald. Moreno might introduce this ordinance, CAA mobilized quickly and worked with the neighborhood builder groups to encourage Ald. Moreno to hold back on formally offering his proposal to the City Council. CAA worked with the Mayor's office and other Alderman to discourage him from introducing this ordinance. These efforts, coupled with the property owners and lawyers who showed up in force at a meeting hosted by Ald. Moreno, helped ensure the ordinance was not introduced in late May. CAA will remain vigilant to ensure this ordinance does move forward as proposed.

CHA Appointments 

Mayor Emanuel proposed the following persons, either for appointment or re-appointment to the Chicago Housing Authority (CHA).

New Appointments

Appointee  Appointment Expires Replacing
Bill Thanoukos July 7, 2022 John G. Markowski
Debra Parker July 7, 2019 Deverra Beverly
James E. Matanky July 7, 2021 Mark J. Cozzi


Appointee  Appointment Expires Replacing
Meghan K. Harte July 7, 2023 N/A

Content contributed by Betsy Mitchell, Betsy D. Mitchell & Associates, and Mary Kay Minaghan, MKM Services, CAA contract lobbyists.