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It’s just a bill

Thursday, Feb 20, 2020

* I had my garage wired to charge my gas/electric car several years ago and it didn’t cost much. But some folks ain’t gonna be happy about this bill

Illinois lawmakers moved forward Tuesday with legislation that would require high-voltage outlets to be installed in most new construction, renovations, and a significant portion of all parking garages to allow for electric car charging.

House Bill 4284 is similar to a mandate in California. It requires any new residential construction to have a dedicated circuit that runs to the garage or all parking spaces to make it “electric vehicle ready.”

The measure “provides that a new or renovated residential building is required to have a certain percentage, based on the number of units in the residential building, of its total parking spaces either electric vehicle ready or electric vehicle capable,” according to the text of the bill.

Any new residential property with six or fewer parking spaces would have to have a dedicated outlet for each spot under the terms of the bill.

The bill is here.

* Email…

Good morning Rich!

Sandy Bury here, Mayor of the fine Village of Oak Lawn. Oak Lawn is the poster child for a community that is thriving while struggling to manage staggering pension debt and unfunded mandates by Springfield. We have done this by lowering property taxes, paying down debt and growing our economy organically.

We are always looking for innovative ways to make ends meet and our “Push Tax” of a penny a push on video gaming is a way to maintain services without raising property taxes. It charges players of video games a penny a push on gaming machines. Using our Home Rule authority this amusement tax became law on January 1st in Oak Lawn.

We immediately were subjected to threats of litigation, mafioso-style threats to retaliate against our local businesses (by removing all machines but one) and a misinformation campaign by insiders in the gaming industry.

While the new tax is clearly unpopular with those with ties to gaming, every resident I have spoken with supports this. No one wants to see property taxes increase for our seniors and hard working families who are just hanging on. Several municipalities have asked for a copy of our ordinance and are eager to implement their own version. The “push tax” is showing signs of spreading like a virus throughout our struggling communities.

Last month, the amount wagered on video gaming in Oak Lawn exceeded our entire yearly municipal tax levy at more that $16 million - yes, in one month. The “push tax” will be used in Oak Lawn to help fund pensions, pave roads, repair streets and educate the public regarding gambling addiction. The Village estimates it will bring in a little more than $1 million yearly.

To date, no one has said this tax is illegal. But Bob Rita would like to make it so. He has introduced HB5065 to shut this tax down and protect the interests of his powerful friends. I am writing to ask your help in getting the word out about this. It’s simply outrageous that our legislators are working against the municipalities they represent in support of powerful interests.


Sandra Bury
Mayor of Oak Lawn

The bill is here.

* Alex Nitkin at the Daily Line

Former Ald. Danny Solis (25) did not violate state election law when he spent $220,000 in campaign funds on his personal legal defense amid a sprawling federal criminal investigation, state election officials ruled on Wednesday.

The Illinois Board of Elections rejected a challenge filed by Ald. Byron Sigcho-Lopez (25), Solis’ successor and longtime political rival, who alleged in a November legal filing that politicians’ common practice of using campaign funds for legal fees is “illegal and disgraceful.”

Sigcho-Lopez argued that if election law prohibits politicians from using campaign funds for personal expenses like clothes, haircuts and club memberships, they should not be allowed to use it for “legal expenses not related to their campaigns for political office.” […]

Sigcho-Lopez has one week to decide whether to he wants to appeal the board’s decision in Illinois Appellate Court. Regardless, the alderman said he planned to take his argument to Springfield by advocating for a new law prohibiting campaign funds from being used to pay legal fees, he said.

I’m thinking that, since campaign committees spent $5.3 million on legal fees last year alone, this idea probably isn’t going anywhere. We’ll see.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - RNUG - Thursday, Feb 20, 20 @ 1:27 pm:

    Noticed yesterday the local S 6th Walmart was installing / had installed six charging in the north 40 of their parking lot.

  2. - RNUG - Thursday, Feb 20, 20 @ 1:31 pm:

    Glad I built my 6 car garage a few years ago. Full charging stations take a lot more amps than just trickle chargers to maintain batteries. I would have had to upgrade my electric service or ran a separate service to the garage.

  3. - DIstant watcher - Thursday, Feb 20, 20 @ 1:31 pm:

    Does Sigcho-Lopez know that lawyers are not required to announce who’s paying their fees? At least when PACs pay we know where the money comes from. Would it be any better if PAC disclosure went away?

  4. - Give Me A Break - Thursday, Feb 20, 20 @ 1:41 pm:

    I can hear the contractors, home builders and real estate crews screaming about big gvt. telling them how to build houses. The fight will probably mirror the one when smoke detectors were required.

  5. - Precinct Captain - Thursday, Feb 20, 20 @ 1:43 pm:

    Sandra Bury forgot to mention her attacks on public safety workers, throwing two dozen community-based dispatchers out of work while outsourcing emergency dispatch to a for-profit company.

  6. - Captain Obvious - Thursday, Feb 20, 20 @ 1:44 pm:

    Requiring the EV charging capacity in new construction is just more heavy handed, nanny state government intervention that is better handled by the marketplace. The penny a push tax is a brilliant way for local municipalities to boost revenue. Any tax on gambling is bueno in my book.

  7. - Simply Sayin' - Thursday, Feb 20, 20 @ 1:45 pm:

    I think House Bill 4284 is a good, forward-looking bill that helps build the infrastructure needed, one of many steps, to encourage and enable consumers to buy electric vehicles.

  8. - Just Observing - Thursday, Feb 20, 20 @ 1:48 pm:

    === I can hear the contractors, home builders and real estate crews screaming about big gvt. telling them how to build houses. ===

    And those that push for more and more building code regulations then cry about high housing costs.

  9. - Cheryl44 - Thursday, Feb 20, 20 @ 1:50 pm:

    The Andersonville Jewel had had charging stations for more than a year I think.

  10. - Michelle Flaherty - Thursday, Feb 20, 20 @ 1:50 pm:

    And of course rewire it.

    You gonna make it all 220?

    220 … 221 … whatever it takes

  11. - Skeptic - Thursday, Feb 20, 20 @ 2:00 pm:

    “is just more heavy handed, nanny state government intervention that is better handled by the marketplace.” Good grief, talk about overreacting. Running a single 50A 220V circuit from the breaker box to the garage during construction is less of a deal than installing an electric stove or furnace. Sheesh.

  12. - Nutz - Thursday, Feb 20, 20 @ 2:02 pm:

    Nice… now a simple bathroom remodel will require an additional 4-digit expense in your garage. Are we actively trying to push people out of state?

  13. - ImHere - Thursday, Feb 20, 20 @ 2:05 pm:

    So under this bill, if I remodel my bathroom or finish my basement, I’d have to install two 50 amp outlets into my two car garage that I dont park my non-electric vehicle in. Seems totally reasonable.

    Anon 1:54 -

    x2 (on avg) plus breakers, plus the outrageous hourly cost of an electrician, and in some (probably a lot of) cases, a need to upgrade your panel and service. This wouldn’t be a trivial cost. Were talking thousands, not hundreds.

  14. - Sox Fan - Thursday, Feb 20, 20 @ 2:14 pm:

    ===Sandra Bury forgot to mention her attacks on public safety workers, throwing two dozen community-based dispatchers out of work while outsourcing emergency dispatch to a for-profit company.==

    Dont forget getting into bed with a corrupt red light camera operator, linking the village to one of the biggest scandals in recent years

  15. - Laughable - Thursday, Feb 20, 20 @ 2:15 pm:

    Bury should worry about the corruption in her administration.

  16. - Nutz - Thursday, Feb 20, 20 @ 2:22 pm:

    Did read the bill… and thanks for proving my point! As stated, a simple bathroom remodel on older homes easily fits into that definition.

  17. - ImHere - Thursday, Feb 20, 20 @ 2:24 pm:

    Anon -

    1st, you must be new here. Have to pick a handle or you’ll get deleted.

    2nd, obviously your not a lawyer. A bathroom remodel is well within the definition. I would be removing ‘finishes’ (vague term that could mean just about anything) with upgrades to (at a minimum) electrical and plumbing systems. A basement finish would add structural and mechanical to the list. Hell, even installing a new sump pump in an old basement would likely trigger this requirement.

    Please try again.

  18. - Chambanalyst - Thursday, Feb 20, 20 @ 2:43 pm:

    I think the bill has good intentions, but the policy is misguided. Seems wise to start building and incorporating EV charging infrastructure where we can, since like it or not, the auto industry is becoming more and more electrified. Finding public spaces to build charging infrastructure can be challenging. There’s only so much you can build, and if the number of EV’s on the road rapidly increases, you’ll quickly see congestion at charging stations like you see in and around Silicon Valley. An increase in the number of homes with outlets capable of charging vehicles is a good idea, but I disagree with forcing the installation. It’d be a whole lot easier IMO if those installations were tax deductible or incentivized in some other way, perhaps a credit.

    The retrofits are where it will get problematic. What if the panel is on the other side of the house? You’ll have to open up the drywall for the length of the run or dig around outside. Now you’ve opened up the door to additional painting/patching/trenching/backfill/landscaping costs. Makes a lot more sense for new construction homes as opposed to retrofits. Or at the very least, increase the incentive for a retrofit to give that little bit extra of an incentive. Imagine this as-is would create a lot of exemption requests for local inspectors & permit issuing agencies.

    Maybe we’ll just start seeing a lot of dryers in newly built garages instead…

  19. - Arock - Thursday, Feb 20, 20 @ 2:45 pm:

    If you do not currently have a 200 amp service then yes it could be a big deal if you are near the max on your current box. I built a three stall 20 years ago, if I am reading this right then I would need to wire for three 220 circuits if I up grade my garage. That would be quite an expense as my garage is 40 feet from my house and I would need a 200 amp service to my garage which would mean a new service line from the pole. That pole is 200 feet away and across the street so I would probably be charged for a pole on my side of the street or the cost for boring under the street. As well as my cost for trenching from the street to the garage and all the materials.

  20. - NeverPoliticallyCorrect - Thursday, Feb 20, 20 @ 2:51 pm:

    As others have said, the bill is vague enough to require retrofitting in a wide range of situations. This is the kind of top down economic structure that Dems are all to comfortable with. Electric vehicles are neither affordable nor useful for the average family. Except for the most expensive vehicles they don’t have sufficient range and take far too long to recharge. But the real issue isn’t about ensuring that people have adequate numbers of recharging stations, it about government, as represented by the Democratic party here in Illinois telling us how to live our lives. I’ll start paying attention to them when they can pay their bills on time, make sure kids in DCFS are getting timely services, and legislators aren’t harassing women. Until then let the marketplace work the way it should in a market based economy. Let the public create demand for electric vehicles and then the need for charging stations. Until then, stop acting like China and stop trying to control every aspect of our lives.

  21. - Angry Republican - Thursday, Feb 20, 20 @ 2:53 pm:

    I’m sure Exelon fully supports people using more electricity; maybe their lobbyists will get behind this bill.

  22. - Skeptic - Thursday, Feb 20, 20 @ 3:34 pm:

    “1st, you must be new here. Have to pick a handle or you’ll get deleted.” Or I have to type in my name. No, I’m not a lawyer, but if it’s a “simple” bathroom remodel, then there’s no “substantial” electrical, structural or plumbing work. If there is substantial work, then it’s not a “simple” remodel. Can’t be any clearer than that. You’re right, it’s vague. It’s also (as the title says) just a bill.

  23. - JB13 - Thursday, Feb 20, 20 @ 3:39 pm:

    Nothing says “Champion of the Middle Class” like requiring homeowners to spend d $5,000 to upgrade their garage’s electrical service when they just want to remodel their bathrooms.

  24. - RNUG - Thursday, Feb 20, 20 @ 3:57 pm:

    == requiring homeowners to spend d $5,000 to upgrade their garage’s electrical service ==

    $5,000 sounds high.

    Admittedly it was 5 years ago and in Springfield, but I upgraded from 100 amp to 200 amp service for under $2,000. And that included a new box, new overhead line in, all materials and labor by a reputable commercial electrical firm. Not counting a bit of prep work, all done in about 6 hours … and the new box was fully labeled for every circuit, something that was not true of the old box.

  25. - Anon221 - Thursday, Feb 20, 20 @ 5:35 pm:

    Might have been some Exelon lobsters stirring the pot-

  26. - MyTwoCents - Thursday, Feb 20, 20 @ 5:47 pm:

    To me, if Illinois can’t require fire sprinklers in new homes, particularly with the lightweight construction these days that basically just instantly burn to the ground, I don’t see how requiring additional electrical work that not everybody will need, is a worthwhile bill to pass. Let’s hope it stays just a bill.

  27. - Generic Drone - Thursday, Feb 20, 20 @ 7:37 pm:

    Seems to me, JB shouldn’t agree to any more costs to middle income families till after he gets his tax reform passed

  28. - Muddy trail - Monday, Feb 24, 20 @ 1:27 pm:

    The bill HB4284 specified the building must be new or significantly renovated after the date of the bill.
    It also will allow a “level 1” charging station or a 120v outlet. It doesn’t require the faster 240v 40amp outlet. I don’t think too many garages are built without an outlet these days.

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