2015 Bills to Watch

Contributed by Dan Hohl, AIA Illinois Government Relations Director

Signifies a Prairie Grassroots Issue 



OPPOSE HB 2611: 15% Masonry in Vertical Construction 
Sponsor: Rep. Dan Brady

The Vertical Construction Masonry Composition Act would set a standard that vertical commercial construction must contain at least 15% masonry components.  AIA Illinois does not support any legislation that removes the designer from making decisions based on existing codes and standards or that forces the alteration of designs based on favoritism of one area of product. This bill is currently being held in the House.

SUPPORT SB 1863: P3s (Public Private Partnerships)
Sponsor: Sen. Heather Steans

SB 1863 would encourage new investment in several infrastructure areas including public buildings, transportation assets, and other public assets that are in dire need of improvements. The Illinois Chamber is working with organizations from across disciplines to expand the use of agreements between private investors and public agents as a tool for new investment.

UPDATE as of 4.15.15: This bill stalled. Sen. Steans passed SB 313 out of committee as a shell bill this week. Amendment 1, including language to expand the use of alternative finance and procurement as a way to invest in infrastructure, was posted. AIA Illinois intends to work with the sponsor to ensure design services are protected, as our stance continues to be that Design Bid Build is still the best form of procuring projects, and alternative financing, as proposed, diverts improperly from the state's procurement laws.

SUPPORT HB 3497: Extend Single Prime Contracting
Sponsor: Rep. Barbara Flynn Currie

Update: Signed by Governor Rauner on August 4, 2015. Would allow for CDB to use Single Prime Contracting on 50% of the projects under $5 million. In 2014, this would have increased the number of projects from five to 45. Single Prime Fact Sheet.

In 2015, the option for Single Prime Contracting with the State will sunset.  A single prime contract is often easier to administer because of its centralization of responsibility, and dealings with one contractor. For multiple prime contracts, the customer divides a project into portions and then enters into a separate contract for each portion of construction. This is often costly and time consuming.  The Capital Development Board currently has the option to administer a single contract for ease of use. AIA Illinois supports extending the use of Single Prime Contracting.  

OPPOSE Senate Bill 1270: Interior Design Practitioner Act for New Licensure 
Sponsor: Sen. Kimberly A. Lightford

Currently in Illinois, the title of Registered Interior Designer is protected by statute. The purpose of SB 1270 is to carve out a Practice of interior design, which may only be performed by those licensed under the new act.  When you create a Practice Act, you are limiting those who can be in business; in this case, to a market composed of 1,300 people, a market that is already served by over 30,000 individuals currently licensed in design. Previous General Assemblies have denied an interior design Practice Act each time it was introduced. The legislation is currently bottled up in committee.

  • 47 states do not recognize Interior Design as a Licensed Practice
  • Interior designers do not have the necessary education to provide life/safety work
  • This will add more costs to projects, municipalities and consumers

Coalition of Opponents:
American Institute of Architects
Illinois Retail Merchants Association
National Kitchen and Bath Association
Home Builders Association of Illinois
Building Code Officials Illinois
Structural Engineers Association
Illinois Municipal League
Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation
Interior Design Protection Consulting

SUPPORT Senate Bill 1642 and House Bill 2754: River Edge Historic Tax Credit Extension Bill

Sponsors: SB1642- Sens. Steve Stadelman - Dave Syverson - David Koehler - Linda Holmes - Michael Noland
HB2754- Reps. Jehan Gordon-Booth, Litesa Wallace

A Coalition of River Edge Communities, developers, investors, building industry representatives, and nonprofit organizations is already achieving results under existing legislation, and extension of the tax credit opportunity will spur additional economic development in communities with urban core historic structures in desperate need of a catalyst for redevelopment.

Update as of 4.15.15: The Senate Bill remains alive in Revenue Committee, as the General Assembly works to find economic advantages while not raising revenues.

SUPPORT House Bill 3744:  Notice and Opportunity to Repair
Sponsor: Rep. Ron Sandack

"Opportunity to Repair" resolves construction defects in a mutually agreeable manner between the owner and the design and construction team, in a court-sanctioned process of mediation and arbitration rather than starting with a lawsuit. It is a faster and undoubtedly more cost effective approach for all parties. When a defect is discovered, the relevant construction professional receives notice and must quickly respond to the complaint. Often, the response leads to an offer of repair or settlement. Both sides have to agree on the problem and the solution before going forward. This model language has been successfully used in at least 30 states.

SUPPORT House Bill 149: Rehabilitation Credit
Sponsor: Rep. Larry Walsh, Jr.

Creates the Illinois State Property Revitalization Tax Credit Act. Creates a credit against taxes imposed under the Illinois Income Tax Act and the Illinois Insurance Code in an amount equal to 30% of qualified expenditures incurred by a qualified taxpayer in the rehabilitation of certain property that had been owned by the State. Changes the definition of "surplus real property" to include property which is determined by the head of the State agency to no longer be required for the State agency's needs and responsibilities (instead of property that is vacant, unoccupied, or unused and having no foreseeable use by the owing agency).

SUPPORT House Bill 196: Five-Year Capital Plan
Sponsor: Rep. Scott Dreary 

Creates the Capital Improvement Planning Act. Provides that the Governor's Office of Management and Budget shall create a 5-year capital improvement plan, based on defined criteria to evaluate the State's capital improvement needs. Provides for the plan to have defined criteria for prioritizing projects.

SUPPORT House Bill 325: Lowers LLC Fees (Same as 2014 proposal)
Sponsor: Rep. Carol Sente

Amends the Limited Liability Company Act. Reduces fees in the fee schedule for limited liability companies filing documents with the Secretary of State to match the fees for similar documents in the fee schedule for corporations.