State Legislative Update 4-20-15

Advocacy News ,

The Illinois General Assembly returned to Springfield on April 14 after a two-week hiatus. Although more than 6,000 bills were introduced since the start of the session in January, most of those have not advanced, and we are dealing with a more manageable legislative workload. (See below for a few bills of interest to CAA.) Although the governor and legislature were able to come to an agreement before the break to fill the current fiscal year’s budget hole with “sweeps” of existing state funds, they are still faced with a multi-billion dollar deficit in next year’s budget. A pending state Supreme Court ruling on pension reform could invalidate that 2013 law and add more fiscal woes. The scheduled adjournment for May 31st is uncertain.

We are currently monitoring and reacting to the following bills of concern to members of the CAA:

House Bill 160 (Thapedi) - Provides that a landlord may recover rent or reasonable satisfaction for use and occupation when the unit is held and occupied by a tenant who is a defendant in an eviction or possession action, and the tenant continues to maintain possession of the land or property. It also permits the court to set a firm trial date for the pending eviction possession action no less than 7 days from the date that the violation of the use and occupancy order is entered. HB 160 is currently being held on second reading (the amendment stage) in the House while Rep. Thapedi tries to garner more support. CAA supports.

House Bill 1319 (Lang; Silverstein) – Amends the Security Deposit Interest Act to provide that the requirement that a lessor pay accumulated interest within 30 days after the end of each 12 month rental period applies to interest that has accumulated in an amount of $5 or more. HB 1319 passed the House 106-7 and has been assigned to the Senate Judiciary Committee. CAA supports.

House Bill 3149 (Cabello; Link) – Allows a person who earned a high school diploma, associate's degree, career or vocational certification, or bachelor's degree, or passed the high school level GED, during the period of his or her sentence, aftercare release, or mandatory supervised release, to petition for sealing his or her records before expiration of applicable waiting periods under the sealing law. CAA is neutral on this legislation, which passed the House 94-20 and is pending in the Senate.

Senate Bill 1547 (Hutchinson) – Prohibits all units of local government from enacting or enforcing ordinances or regulations that penalize tenants who contact police or other emergency services under certain specified circumstances. Also provides that a landlord or tenant may bring a civil suit seeking to invalidate the ordinance, compensatory damages, attorney fees, court costs, and other equitable relief. CAA supports SB 1547, which is on second reading (amendment stage) in the Senate.

For a complete bill file, go to the CAA website; for information on specific bills, visit www.ilga.gov and click on “Bills and Resolutions” and find the bill number.