Advocacy 2023 End of the Year Report

Mon, January 15, 2024 3:22 PM | Nina Vidmer (Administrator)

In 2023, the Illinois Real Estate Lawyers Association (IRELA) achieved yet another successful session dedicated to safeguarding the best interests of its members. The Advocacy Committee meticulously reviewed all real estate-related bills, successfully advocating for our legislative priority's passage in the General Assembly. Moreover, we diligently ensured that any enacted legislation would not adversely affect our members, countering potential challenges such as the market reform initiative proposed by the Illinois Land Title Association (ILTA). Throughout this process, IRELA strengthened existing alliances and cultivated new, valuable connections, solidifying its standing with legislators and stakeholders at the Capitol.

The Advocacy Committee devised and executed a comprehensive process to assess all legislation pertinent to the issues at hand. IRELA's lobbyist, Jay Curtis, meticulously scrutinized the 6,959 bills filed in both the House and Senate, compiling detailed lists for the committee's examination to determine our stance on each – whether to support, oppose, or maintain a neutral position.

From the onset of the session and through the veto session, the committee convened regularly to deliberate on and monitor on the advancement of all bills of significance. They also played an active role in opining on nearly 100 bills concerning real estate law, such as taxes and credits, tenant-landlord relations, consumer protections, digital and remote work processes, licensing, record-keeping, disclosure requirements, and market reforms proposed by ILTA. Conclusively, the committee formulated positions on these bills, and through our lobbyist, Jay Curtis, shared our positions with legislative leaders, committee chairs, bill sponsors, and relevant stakeholders.

It is noteworthy that by the end of the November veto session, no legislation harmful to members was passed, including yet another set of bills introduced by ILTA.

More importantly, IRELA achieved success in the passage of its priority legislation for the session. In continuation of last year's modernization of the Residential Real Property Disclosure Act, we successfully advocated for the inclusion of language that specifically safeguards the interests of trusts and estate lawyers within the Act. Sponsored by Rep. Curtis Tarver and Sen. Elgie Sims, HB 2098 clarified the definition of "seller" to exempt a beneficiary who has both (i) never occupied and (ii) never held management responsibility for the residential real property from the disclosure requirement.

IRELA also represented members in ongoing meetings with interested stakeholders to develop an alternative to the ILTA market reforms, should one be needed. IRELA representatives also continually engaged with the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation (IDFPR). The IDFPR interactions were related to potential regulatory actions related to members.

Members of the IRELA board and Advocacy committee have recently been invited to meetings with ILTA and multiple stakeholders to participate in discussions on the 2024 ILTA market reform legislation.  Rest assured that we will continue to participate in all future discussions to promote and protect the interests of our members.

In 2024, the Advocacy Committee will embark on another round of reviewing and responding to bills that are pertinent to IRELA members. The overarching objective is to guarantee that real estate lawyers maintain their crucial and indispensable role in the real estate process in Illinois.

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