Special Session Legislative Update

Thu, May 28, 2020 11:04 AM | Anne Hengehold (Administrator)

The Illinois General Assembly wrapped up its Special Session in the early morning hours this past Sunday. There was an incredible amount of legislative action during the four-day period. During special sessions, legislation is formally limited to those issues specifically stated in the official proclamation. The issues that were able to be considered, per the proclamation, were as follows: 

- The COVID-19 pandemic or other disasters

- The state budget and its implementation

-  Economic recovery, infrastructure projects, and funding thereof

- The explanation, arguments for and against the Progressive Income Tax

 Laws or authority scheduled to sunset prior to June 1, 2021

- The 2020 General Election and the State Board of Elections

- The hospital assessment program 

As a part of the four days, lawmakers were able to pass a budget, an expansion of election laws, a hospital assessment plan, language for voters on the upcoming graduated income tax ballot issue, agreed upon changes to workers’ compensation and unemployment insurance, Medicaid expansion, COVID-19-related property tax relief, and other measures meant to address the current crisis.

More relevant to IRELA members, the General Assembly took up a few issues of importance for the industry and the bar.

1.     Passed - Remote Notarization – SB 2135 (p. 11-14)
The General Assembly codified Governor Pritzker’s recent emergency executive orders on this issue:
- Executive Order 2020-14 (original authority)
- Executive Order 2020-18 (extends authority and adds overnight mail)
- Executive Order 2020-33 (extends authority)
The bill allows the changes in law to continue until 30 days after the expiration of the COVID-19 gubernatorial disaster declaration (currently set to expire on May 30).  The bill also took up some new changes, including (i) a requirement of substantial compliance to the listed requirements during the attestation and technology use in the remote two-way audio/video communication and (ii) a hold harmless on the validity of actions negatively impacted by “technology issues.”
2.     Not Passed - Landlord-Tenant Issues – SB 3066
This bill was pushed by the Progressive Caucus and took on multiple iterations before the sponsor finally relented without being able to reach agreement with concerned parties. In summary, the bill attempted to address rent and mortgage payment moratoriums, rent control, and eviction reforms for certain periods of time during and after the COVID-19 crisis. Her efforts were stalled, in part, by the Realtors and legislators concerned it went too far. The sponsor has promised to continue working on the bill and wants to take it up in veto session scheduled for November 17-19 and December 1-3.
3.     Passed - Illinois Housing Development Authority Emergency Relief Funds – SB 264 (p. 108)
As an alternative to more comprehensive approach of SB 3066, the General Assembly passed $396 million in residential housing relief funding through the Illinois Housing Development Authority. The funding will come in the form of grants and be available for emergency rental and mortgage assistance, as well as subordinate financing. There will be $296 million available to those generally impacted by the COVID-19 crisis and an additional $100 million available to those impacted by COVID-19 and in disproportionately impacted areas.
4.     Not Considered - ILTA Market Reform Bill

The market reform bill was not heard during the Special Session. The new bill sponsor, Sen. Omar Aquino, plans to take this issue up again during the fall veto session. We should expect there to be negotiations with the interested parties during this time.

Here is the last version of the bill as written by ILTA – Amendment 1 to SB 3193. This version has not been filed yet.

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