Spring Legislative Session Brings IAR Successes

IAR has such a constant and well-respected presence at the Capitol that the legislators and staff have come to value and rely upon our input in crafting good public policy. We are there on every bill, every amendment, every floor session, and every committee hearing, making sure the bad ideas are stopped or fixed, and the good ideas are advanced forward.  Here’s a few examples from the (almost concluded, we hope) 2010 spring legislative session.

  • Senate Bill 3747 was drafted and promoted by IAR.  The bill halts in its tracks a concept originated in California where a property developer places a covenant on a development whereby all future homebuyers, in every future transaction, would have to pay the original developer a “transfer fee.”  The bill bans these instruments in Illinois.  The legislature trusted our call to nip this in the bud here, and voted overwhelmingly to pass the bill, which is now on the Governor’s desk.
  • Senate Bill 3180, as originally drafted, would have heaped a lot of unnecessary and confusing regulation on even the tiniest of subdivision homeowner associations.  The chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee and the House Republican leader looked to IAR to help craft a balanced and workable approach.  The bill was amended, passed, and is now on the Governor’s desk.
  • The IAR was the chief advocate for Senate Bill 3334, which provides that foreclosures and short sales will be taken into account in reviewing and correcting property tax assessments.  These compulsory sales make up a huge part of the market in some areas, and this legislation, which is now on the Governor’s desk, will provide some fairness and relief on the property tax side of this issue.
  • House Bill 5409 would require title insurance companies to provide “closing protection” coverage for their registered title agents to protect buyers and sellers against the acts and omissions of those agents.  Sounds good, right?  Except that the legislation required that the title companies collect from consumers a set fee for this protection. While the title insurance industry lobbied hard for the mandatory fee, IAR objected to the state setting mandatory fees on consumers in real estate transactions.  In the end, the mandatory fee was taken out before the bill was advanced.

The level of presence and involvement it takes to have this kind of impact requires an incredible amount of resources and commitment.   The commitment of members who sacrifice their time and expertise to help craft informed policy positions.  The commitment of dues dollars to hiring experienced and skilled lobbyists and attorneys, who help craft legislation and carry out negotiations successfully, and stand constant watch over every floor session and committee hearing.

This expertise and presence, along with our mission to protect our members’ business interests, as well as advocating for homeowners and property owners of all kinds, gives IAR sterling credibility and influence.  We’re viewed as a trusted, reliable, and essential part of crafting good public policy.  As you well know, “trusted and reliable” goes a long way in any business….

Of course, it doesn’t hurt to have a big PAC and the political clout of 46,000 involved members as well, does it?

We’ll keep doing what we do best so you can do the same!

This entry was posted in Government Affairs and tagged , , by Greg St. Aubin. Bookmark the permalink.

About Greg St. Aubin

Greg St. Aubin is Director of Governmental Affairs for the Illinois Association of REALTORS®. He carries out and supervises the implementation of the governmental affairs programs, policies, and positions of the Association. He provides input on the formulation of IAR positions on public policy issues, and advocates the Association’s positions through direct contact with state, local, and federal lawmakers and other officials, and through interaction with other interest groups. He directs and supervises the Governmental Affairs staff. St. Aubin provides staff support to the Public Policy and Government Affairs Member Involvement Group, the REALTORS® Political Action Committee, and various task forces and working groups which are appointed from time to time.

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