Interested in getting involved on the governmental side of the building industry? Join us on Tuesday, April 17th as the SSHBA travels down to the Capitol in Springfield to meet with our local legislators and fight for important issues that affect the building industry! You can meet us in Springfield or take the train out of the Joliet Amtrak station with us that morning. Please let our office know ASAP if you would like to attend.
The following are some house and state bills in particular that we will be discussing.
HB 4268 – (Thapedi) Mechanic’s Lien Act within the Home Repair & Remodeling Act
Amends the Home Repair and Remodeling Act. HB4268 takes portions of the Mechanic’s Lien Act (MLA) and places them in the Home Repair & Remodeling Act (HRRA). This language is not identical to the MLA and contradicts the procedures required in the MLA. The bill also allows home owners to take over the duties of paying the subcontractors. The Illinois Bankers Association believes this will cause chaos and confusion for consumers, contractors, and lenders. A consumer stepping into the shoes of a general contractor is contrary to contractual law and will allow home owners to interfere with the contractual rights between general contractors and their subs. The Illinois Bar Association generated this bill, but acknowledges our concerns. A proposed amendment has been offered, but HBAI is still opposed.
An amendment is being drafted to address our concerns. Payments by homeowners, Sworn Statements, and insuring that a violation of the MLA does not constitute a violation of the HRRA are being addressed. Rep. Thapedi plans to hold the bill until there is agreement on all sides.
SB2336 – (McConnaughay) Tax reassessment
Amends the Property Tax Code. In a Section concerning tax objections, provides that, when a change in assessed valuation of $100,000 or more is sought: (i) on the date the initial complaint is filed, the plaintiff shall send a copy of the complaint to the custodian of funds of each of the taxing districts against which the complaint is directed; and (ii) each of the taxing districts shall have the unconditional right to intervene in the cause of action. Effective immediately. It should not be the duty of taxpayers to be forced by government to round up opponents for their own tax reassessments. HBAI is Opposed.
HB4203 – (Andersson) Contesting Annexations
HB4203 extends the time to contest the annexation of territory from one year to ten years, on the question of whether the property is contiguous to the municipality. A lot can happen to annexed property within ten years. Property owners could have their investments ruined by reversing a decision ten years after annexation. HBAI is opposed.
SB2268 – (Raul) Worker Protection Unit
SB2268 creates the Worker Protection Unit within the Attorney General’s Office. SB2268 is a power grab supported by organized labor to take duties from the Illinois Dept. of Labor and place them in the office of the Illinois Attorney General. HBAI believes the administration of the Employee Classification Act, Prevailing Wage Act, and several other worker/employer statutes should remain in the hands of the Dept. of Labor. This will ensure equal protection for Illinois workers and Illinois business owners. HBAI is Opposed.
SB2531 – (Murphy) Conservation Housing Development Act
SB2531 is a statewide tree preservation bill mandating a new state permit on new residential construction, as drafted. The bill is opposed by HBAI, the Realtors, and the Dept. of Natural Resources. Senator Murphy is to amend the bill down to an optional incentive program that would provide a property tax cut for the developer following the implementation of a tree preservation plan.
SB2480 – (Hastings) Illinois Hazardous Materials Workforce Training Act
SB2480 requires Illinois EPA to implement a program for advanced safety training for workers at high hazard facilities. Requires construction contractors and subcontractors use a skilled and trained workforce to perform all onsite work within an apprenticeable occupation in the building and construction trades. The bill is supported by the Heating & A.C. Insulators Union and is opposed by HBAI and many other business associations.
HB4324 – (Welch) Wage Lien Act
HB4324 provides that lien exists on an employer’s property for unpaid wages owed to an employee. HBAI and many other business associations are opposed to this bill.
HB4531 – (Moylan) Repeals Developer Insurance Option on Public Construction Bonds
HB4531 repeals the right of developers to choose a cash bond, certified letter of credit, or surety bond when posting an assurance for the completion of work on public construction projects. Municipalities and counties would be given the authority to require a letter of credit or a surety bond. HBAI is vehemently opposed.
Illinois Needs Construction Workers
Labor Shortage in IL – Did you know that, nationwide, there are currently 210,000 job openings in construction? That number is up from 178,000 from just one year ago.* Now, did you know that Illinois is tied with Hawaii as the best paying state for construction workers ($56,180)? And, the top two best paying cities for construction workers in the country is Elgin at #1, and Chicago at #2.** Washington needs a bipartisan effort now to resolve the Visa issue for the construction industry. And, Illinois lawmakers should do everything possible to attract young people and those in transition into vocational training to increase a qualified workforce for the construction industry. Let’s make jobs and grow!
*Elliot F. Eisenberg, Ph.D. in Economics, 2018
**U.S. News and World Report, 2018