No State Budget By May 31 Deadline, But Still Time to Pass Responsible Budget by Beginning of Next Fiscal Year

Who are the people most hurt by Governor Rauner and the General Assembly not working together to pass a responsible budget for next year by May 31? The ones who rely on state-funded services, including programs that create affordable housing and address homelessness.

However, there is still one month before the start of the next fiscal year, July 1, and we urge Governor Rauner and members of the General Assembly to put other issues aside and focus on passing a balanced budget that has adequate revenue by that date. Doing this is the only way to avoid additional cuts to vital services that meet basic human needs and help Illinois’ economy grow.

We also reiterate our call that Governor Rauner sign Senate Bill 2038, an emergency funding bill for human service programs, including those that serve seniors, children and people with disabilities. The more than $700 million included in the legislation for the current fiscal year comes from the Commitment to Human Services Fund and other state funds with existing fund balances that are dedicated to the provision of social services.

SB 2038 includes nearly $225 million in state funding for a range of programs we advocate for, including money for homeless shelters, supportive housing, rental subsidies, foreclosure prevention and housing construction. This funding—as well as additional funds for affordable housing—would have been available 11 months ago if not for the state budget impasse.

On May 18, the bill was sent to Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner for his consideration after passing the General Assembly with near unanimous support from Democrats and Republicans. More than two weeks have passed without Governor Rauner taking action on the bill. Each day that goes by without this bill being signed into law means that more families in Illinois needlessly become homeless because service providers have to turn them away.

Please call Governor Rauner’s office at 217-782-0244 to ask him to sign Senate Bill 2038, the emergency funding bill for human services.

Bipartisan Support for Positive Housing Legislation

Despite the state budget impasse, there was bipartisan support for several positive pieces of legislation that passed the General Assembly this session.  Thanks to the legislators who sponsored these bills.  We ask Governor Rauner to sign these bills into law.

Senate Bill 2271 extends the Comprehensive Housing Planning Act through December 31, 2026. The Act requires the State of Illinois, led by the Illinois Housing Development Authority, to produce an annual statewide housing plan with specific components, including coordination of state spending to better address affordable housing goals and prioritize resources for people with the lowest incomes. Changes to the Act in this bill include adding additional priority populations, including people with criminal records and veterans. Advocated for by Housing Action Illinois and Metropolitan Planning Council. Chief sponsors were Senator Iris Martinez and Representative Will Guzzardi.

House Bill 4595 extends the sunset date of a provision in Illinois’ mortgage foreclosure law allowing judges to set aside a judicial sale when, upon the appeal of the homeowner, the judge finds that a lender has violated the federal Making Home Affordable program. Advocated for by Housing Action Illinois and the Sargent Shriver National Center on Poverty Law. Chief sponsors were Representative Al Riley and Senator Jacqueline Collins.

House Bill 4562 increases civil penalties under the Human Rights Act relating to real estate transactions to make Illinois is consistent with federal law. Chief sponsors were Representative Elizabeth Hernandez and Senator Iris Martinez.

House Bill 6285 creates a mutual understanding between manufactured home owners and park owners regarding how fines can be imposed with adequate protections for tenants to make sure that they do not lose their housing due to a fine. Advocated for the Manufactured Homeowners Association of Illinois. Chief sponsors were Representative Anna Moeller and Senator Melinda Bush.

Senate Bill 2427 provides that any taxpayer who provides proper notice to remove a homestead exemption on a single-family home will not later be subjected to back taxes, penalties and interest if the exemption is continued by the county. Advocated for by Training, Research, Advocacy & Education Network, Inc. Chief sponsors were Senator Emil Jones III and Representative Al Riley.

Senate Bill 2956 updates the Illinois Environmental Barriers Act to align with the Illinois Accessibility Code and federal fair housing standards. Chief sponsors were Senator Linda Holmes and Representative Ann Williams.

Senate Bill 2300 provides that if a lead mitigation notice is issued on a rental property it cannot be leased to a new tenant until the mitigation is completed. Chief sponsors were Senator Donne Trotter and Representative Robyn Gabel.