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:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.