* This seems like a common sense bill…
A new law in Illinois that will take effect at the end of the year is aimed at protecting renters if their landlord’s property goes into foreclosure.
Gov. Pat Quinn signed the law that says that those who buy multifamily properties out of foreclosure should either honor existing tenant leases or give the renters 90 days to move.
State officials say that about 40 percent of families affected by foreclosure are renters.
* From a press release…
Currently, tenants living in foreclosed properties are protected under federal law, but those protections are set to sunset in 2014.
Under the new state law, an owner who acquires a property in a foreclosure proceeding can evict a tenant only at the end of the lease or, if there is no lease, with 90 days’ notice.
If the new owner intends to use the property as his or her primary residence, he or she may terminate the lease but must still give 90 days’ notice. A bank foreclosing on a rental property also must inform tenants of where they should pay their rent.
The bill is here.
Of course, pulling the state and the nation out of the housing foreclosure crisis would probably do a lot more good. But this never-ending economic slump is beyond stubborn.
…Adding… A similar bill was introduced way back in 2007.
* There was a spot of good news accompanying the state’s lousy July unemployment rate report, however…
The number of jobs across the Chicago area grew by 1.9 percent last month from a year earlier, but the unemployment rate still increased.
Highlighting volatility in employment figures, the region encompassing Chicago, Joliet and Naperville saw one of the state’s largest increases in job growth and in the rate of unemployment, according to preliminary data released Thursday by the Illinois Department of Employment Security.
The unemployment rate measures those who are actively searching for work, so if someone gives up their search, they are no longer counted. Conversely, if a region sees job growth but the unemployment rate rises, it indicates that more people are starting to look for jobs.
Across the state, the unemployment rate fell last month in seven of 12 metro areas, but the number of jobs declined in eight out of 12.
So, while the Metro East area saw its unemployment rate drop by a full percentage point, to 8.6 percent, the number of jobs have actually declined by 2,300 from a year ago.
Springfield’s rate fell by a tenth of a point, but Springfield now has 200 fewer gross, non-farm jobs than it did a year ago. Ugh.
And while that 1.9 percentage point increase in the number of jobs in the Chicago region is good news, it’s still not nearly enough over a year’s time. We need growth, man.
The full report is here.
The issue of raising Illinois’ minimum wage generated quite a bit of controversy early in the spring session of the Illinois General Assembly.
One bill in particular, which proposed raising Illinois’ minimum wage from $8.25 an hour to $10 over three years, generated lots of opposition from the business community, which said raising the minimum wage would result only in employers cutting existing minimum wage jobs.
But it never got a vote in the House or Senate, where it remains in the Assignments Committee. By session’s end, pension reform, concealed carry and same-sex marriage had pushed minimum wage off the stage.
If you listened to Gov. Pat Quinn’s speech to Democratic county chairmen last week, though, you heard the minimum wage stepping back into the spotlight as one of the main planks of Quinn’s reelection campaign platform.
“It’s a principle as old as the Bible. If you work 40 hours a week, you should not live in poverty,” Quinn told the crowd in Springfield. “That’s why we’re going to raise the Illinois minimum wage as well.”
I really doubt that bill will be approved by the House if it does clear the Senate. The Illinois Retail Merchants Association, among others, is dead-set against it, and they have a very friendly ear in Speaker Madigan.