Member - NAHB - National Home Builders Association
House 4

Home Builders Carry Message to Illinois General Assembly “We Create Jobs”

Home Builders hit the Illinois Statehouse with a strong message to the General Assembly; “if you want to revive the economy; you need new home construction to do it.” 75 builders, developers, remodelers, and local executives took a day from their busy schedules to learn about the legislative process, push for legislation encouraging growth, and oppose everything in our way. 

HBAI membership engaged Legislators on a variety of issues, including:

Cypress Creek

HBAI lobbied in favor of HB3636, a bill to give back 140 years of mechanics lien rights that were stripped from contractors, suppliers, and their employees and given to the banks by the Illinois Supreme Court in 2011. The “Cypress Creek bill,” named after the Supreme Court Case, Cypress Creek vs. LaSalle Bank, would re-prioritize contractors, subs, and suppliers over lending institutions when a construction site goes bankrupt. The language contained in HB3636 has passed the Senate but is now being held up by the bill’s House Sponsor, State Rep. Chapin Rose (R-Mahomet). Representative Rose is unfortunately currently reconsidering his support of the legislation.

Fire Sprinklers

HBAI also lobbied hard in opposition to a proposal by the Illinois State Fire Marshal to mandate fire sprinkler systems in all new homes built in Illinois. His plan would reflect what has only been done in one other state, California, and turned down in 35 other states. Cost estimates on the mandate range from $7000 to $17,000 per home, according to our real estimates given to builders by fire sprinkler installers.

Proponents try to hide the actual costs by saying the systems cost only $1.60 per square foot. 2008 HBAI Past President, Scott Eckstein made the analogy that selling sprinkler systems by the foot is like a car dealer selling cars by the pound; both are very misleading.

Vacant Lot Act

The Vacant Lot Act is alive and well and is doing its intended purpose first passed in the 1980s. But Home Builders need its protection when buying vacant lots back from banks when home construction takes an upturn. HB4698 and HB5776 would extend the property tax benefit to succeeding land owners as long as the property stays unimproved. Attempts to pass the bill in the Senate have been successful but House Majority Leader, Barbara Flynn Currie (D-Chicago) has held the bill from consideration in the Illinois House.

Should builders and developers attempt to purchase vacant lots back from lending institutions, they will be shouldered with stiff property tax increases that will make the development of that property virtually unachievable.

Job Creators

The home construction industry is the sharp tip of the spear when targeting new jobs in Illinois. HBAI provided legislators with information on the number of jobs that can be created with an increase in new construction. Home builders can put 9000 workers back to work with an increase of 3000 new homes statewide. No other industry can put people back to work by that much in so little time.

Enjoy the Photos

Here are some action photos of our Lobby Day that included: General Assembly 101; keynote address by House Revenue Chair, John Bradley (D-Marion); legislative briefings; Statehouse visits; and our HBAI Lobby Day Reception.

lobby day reception
Mark Scaggs (left) of SSHBA takes photo op with Illinois State Treasurer Dan Rutherford at Lobby Day Reception.
senator munoz
Senator Anthony Munoz (D-Chicago) center, surrounds himself with a platoon of SSHBA members.
senator crotty
Mark Scaggs (left) and Jason Paliatka of SSHBA meet with Senator Maggie Crotty (D-Oak Forest).
rep hatcher
Left to Right: Pete Stefani (NIHBA), Rep. Kay Hatcher (R-Yorkville), Heather Runge, Craig Wheatley, Scott Eckstein (all of NIHBA) and Terry Ruhland (Peoria HBA).
general assembly 101Executive Vice President, Bill Ward, and Government Affairs Director, Chris Davis, take a question from the audience during the morning session, “General Assembly 101.” rep bradley
Rep. John Bradley (D-Marion) spoke to home builders about the “good, the bad, and the ugly” issues regarding the Illinois state budget.
rep bradley 2
Home Builders listen to Bradley as he addresses our lobby day home builder issues.
rep tracy
HBAI President, Bill Basic, and Judy Fretwell-Gottman, E.O. for Quincy HBA (right), meet with Rep. Jil Tracy (R- Mt. Sterling) to discuss our amendment to restore mechanics lien rights in HB3636.
rep flowersSouthwest Suburban HBA President, John Rogers (left), and contract lobbyist Tony Rossi, spend time in Capitol rotunda with Rep. Mary Flowers (D-Chicago) and her granddaughter, Madison.
illinois statehouse
HBAI Secretary, Paul Phillips, and East Central Ill. HBA President, Mike Kennedy, discover the “hurry up and wait” routine for meeting legislators at the Illinois Statehouse.
senator koehler
The Greater Peoria HBA contingency meets with Senator David Koehler (D-Edwards) in his State Capitol office.
senator panaku
Senator Carol Pankau (R-Roselle) talks issues with HBAI Immediate Past President, Mike Nagel.
rep mathias
Rep. Sid Mathias (R- Buffalo Grove) describes the budget gap to Mike Nagel.
sangamo club
Home Builders and Illinois Legislators gather together at the Sangamo Club after a hard day at the Capitol.