The Illinois General Assembly wrapped up their work for the spring session in the early morning hours of Saturday, May 27. Overall, it was a successful session for AIA Illinois and our priorities!
The Historic Preservation Tax Credit was due to sunset on Dec.31, 2023. While there is strong support in the legislature for the Historic Preservation Tax Credit, budget items are always tough to get passed. Not only was the tax credit extended for another five years through Dec. 31, 2028, the annual amount available was increased from $15 million to $25 million/year. A big win!
Another success was passing a bill to establish a minimum statewide building code. This issue has been under consideration for decades without success, due to opposition from municipalities. This year, a coalition of environmental, building code and design/construction groups came together to push this issue forward. There was more momentum this year due to the fact that there are hundreds of millions of dollars in federal emergency management funding that Illinois is missing out on because of our lack of a statewide building code. This bill, Senate Bill 2368, has passed both chambers and is awaiting action by Governor Pritzker.
Two bills were filed on Energy Savings Contract Organizations (ESCOs). The first is an initiative of AIA, House Bill 2119. We have pursued this legislation for the last several years and have met strong resistance from school associations along with the ESCOs. Unfortunately, that bill did not move forward.
A second ESCO bill was filed on behalf of an ESCO. This bill sought to take ESCOs outside the debt limitation cap for school districts. While this bill moved through the House, the Senate did not take any action on it. AIA Illinois was opposed, so we were pleased to see the Senate hold this bill.
Finally, AIA Illinois supported the all-gender equitable access restroom act, HB 1286. We were pleased that this bill passed both the House and Senate and is now awaiting the Governor's signature. This legislation allows a multi-occupancy restroom to be designated for use by a person of any gender.
Thank you to our great team at Nekritz Amdor Andersson Group and all of our partners and citizen architects who helped with these and all of our other legislative initiatives.