CAI Illinois Legislative Action Committee End of Session Report (Spring 2024)

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On May 29, 2024, the Illinois General Assembly adjourned its Spring legislative session and will return for the fall veto session after the November General Election. The legislative session went into overtime after the May 24th adjournment date to address the State Budget and a few other pending items.

The Community Associations industry and ILAC enjoyed a successful legislative session working in opposition to 15 pieces of legislation that were deemed detrimental to the industry and helping pass four (4) measures that ILAC supported with amended legislation authored by ILAC. The one disappointment was not passing a Reserve Study bill that was held on 3rd reading in the Senate after passing in the House with more than 90 votes.

There were 22 bills introduced during the Spring legislative session that directly affect community associations and community association managers. Four (4) of those bills passed both Houses with ILAC’s support and will be sent to the Governor. The General Assembly has 30 days after the date the bill passes both Houses to send it to the Governor. The Governor then has 60 days to sign the bill into law or veto the bill (including an “amendatory veto” or “item veto”). If the Governor does nothing during that 60-day period, then the bill becomes law.

ILAC, through the direction of our lobbyist Jeff Dixon and ILAC’s volunteer members, successfully amended several of the bills with language drafted by the ILAC team and worked with the sponsors to pass the bills through both Houses of the General Assembly. ILAC, working with Jeff Dixon, participated in numerous meetings at the Illinois Capitol on Lobby Day, in Zoom meetings and conference calls with legislators, their staff, and other stakeholders. Working with Jeff Dixon, ILAC slipped in support and opposition to many of the condo-related bills in committee and successfully defeated all the ILAC opposed condo bills, while passing four (4) bills into law which ILAC either supported after authoring amended language to the sponsors or remained neutral.

The bills that have passed both Houses and are expected to go to the Governor are as follows:

  1. SB 2740 – the bill was introduced by Sen. Dan McConchie (R-Lake Zurich) in the Senate and co-sponsored by Rep. Kelly Cassidy (D-Chicago) in the House. The bill addresses accessible parking for unit owners with a disability – Senate amendment 1 and House amendment 2 were drafted by ILAC and passed both Houses, with concurrence in the Senate.
  2. HB 4125 was introduced by Rep. Margaret Croke (D-Chicago) in the House and Sen. Michael Hastings (D-Tinley Park) in the Senate. The bill provides that the statute of limitations for the execution of a certificate of error does not apply to a certificate of error correcting an assessment when the property is used as a common area by a subdivision, association, or planned development.
  3. HB 5296 was introduced by Rep. Laura Dias (D-Grayslake) in the House and co-sponsored by Sen. Karina Villa (D-Aurora) in the Senate. The bill addresses planting native and pollinator-friendly plants. House amendment 1 (drafted by ILAC) provides that homeowners associations and common interest communities can adopt reasonable rules and regulations governing native landscapes, with certain requirements – the bill passed both Houses and will be sent to the Governor.
  4. HB 5502 was introduced by Rep. Dan Didech (D-Buffalo Grove) in the House and Sen. Ram Villivalam (D-Chicago) in the Senate. The bill was amended by the Illinois Realtors with ILAC support and the amendment drafted by ILAC clarified language in the Condo Act regarding discrimination. The bill provides that in a sale of a condominium unit, no condominium association may exercise any right of refusal, option to purchase, or right to disapprove the sale on the basis that the purchaser’s financing guaranteed by the Federal Housing Administration; or (ii) for a discriminatory or otherwise unlawful purpose.

Other Legislation

The five bills that passed both Houses of the General Assembly (described above) are only a few of the many bills that were introduced in the legislature. Some of those introduced bills never made it out of the originating chamber. Some bills did make it out of the originating chamber but stalled in the other chamber. One such bill was HB 220, the CAI initiated Reserve Studies legislation. The bill passed out of the House 92-17 but was held on 3rd reading in the Senate for further study due to concerns from Sen. Sara Feigenholtz (D-Chicago).

HB 220 was introduced by Representative Kelly Burke, Assistant Majority Leader (D-Evergreen Park) and Sen. Bill Cunningham, Senate President Pro Tempore (D-Chicago). The “Reserve Study” legislation would ensure that community associations in Illinois protect residents to make sure all community associations are safe and secure for their residents and visitors. The purpose of the bill is to assess the condition of and planning for maintenance, repair, and replacement of the common elements. The bill mandates a reserve study, but it does not mandate funding the reserves, that would be up to the Board. The Board would have control over how much money is put in reserves.

Again, the bill passed the House 92-17 after passing the Licensing Committee 12-6. In the Senate, the bill passed the Judiciary Committee 8-0, but when it reached 3rd reading for final passage, Sen. Feigenholtz asked our sponsor to hold the bill. We were disappointed in this outcome but stand ready to work with the Senator during the summer to reach an agreement to address the bill during Veto Session.

HB 5388

House bill 5388 was introduced by Rep. Dagmara Avlar (D-Romeoville) and would create the Homeowners’ Association Bill of Rights Act and State HOA Department. The language is overly broad and burdensome, interfering with established property and contract rights. The bill is inconsistent with the fundamentals of the community association housing model and duplicates existing state mechanisms for checks and balances and to manage dispute resolution. It alters or removes existing protections of membership. Also, it would create more dispute and litigation with little benefit to the association and will increase the cost of operation (i.e., increase assessments).

ILAC lobbyist Jeff Dixon met with Rep. Avelar in her office and explained our concerns and willingness to work with her. She was receptive to the industry and asked for amended language that would address important community association concerns. After more meetings, emails and conference calls, we agreed to work with her on the bill in the summer to address her concerns. ILAC anticipates that HB 5388 or a similar bill will be addressed in future legislation and will be ready to work with the sponsor to make any necessary changes. The Homeowners Bill of Rights is legislation important to Rep. Avelar that she wants to pursue to address her constituents’ concerns.

HB 5315

House bill 5315 was introduced by Rep. Dan Didech (D-Buffalo Grove) to amend the Homeowners Energy Policy Statement Act regarding solar doorbells. ILAC opposed the bill as written and worked with the sponsor to amend the bill. Our lobbyist held a number of meetings with the sponsor and had follow-up phone calls and emails to stress that Associations must have the authority to establish reasonable regulations for making alterations to property and determining the location for installing solar panels. Again, the primary issue will be the installation of the solar panel powering the doorbell because it will likely have to be installed on common area, not a portion of the property owned by the owner. An association is going to have to have control over the how and where of the installation to ensure it does not adversely impact the common area. Also, there will have to be consideration of responsibility for damage to common areas and for removal and reinstallation when common area maintenance, repair, and replacement is required. The bill stalled in the House due to ILACs opposition. We expect the solar doorbell issue to be addressed again in future legislation.

HB 5176

House Bill 5176 was introduced by Rep. Dan Didech to create the Solar Ready Buildings Act to accommodate the installation of solar energy systems on rooftops. After multiple discussions with the sponsor on ILAC concerns with the bill, he agreed not to prioritize the bill this session and it was held in the Rules Committee. Rep. Didech, however, made it clear he wants to pass a solar energy bill and asks for input and support. We expect this bill to resurface in the 2025 Spring session.

If you would like to help make a difference with this legislation, consider making a legislative fundraising donation which goes toward paying our lobbyist, Jeff Dixon, who brings our voice to Springfield: https://advocacy.caionline.org/lac-donation-form/

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CAI Illinois Legislative Action Committee (ILAC)

The Illinois Legislative Action Committee represents the interests of Community Associations in Springfield and Washington DC. This Committee is responsible for identifying legislative issues of importance to...

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