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It’s just a bill

Tuesday, Feb 25, 2020

* Illinois Public Radio

Pet owners in Illinois that live in public housing often have to choose between keeping their pet and staying in a place they can afford. A proposed Illinois measure aims to prevent that situation from ever happening.

State Senator Linda Holmes (D-Aurora) is sponsoring a bill requiring landlords in charge of affordable housing units to allow pets. At an event in Springfield announcing the measure, she explained everyone should be able to enjoy the benefits of having a pet in their home.

“They influence social, emotional, and cognitive development in children and they promote an active lifestyle,” Holmes said. “They provide emotional support, improved moods, and contribute to overall morale of their owners, including the elderly and disabled.”

Landlords and property owners who receive tax subsidies for low-income housing would be required to allow tenants to keep common pets, which include domesticated cats and dogs, regardless of size, weight, or breed.

* Alex Nitkin at the Daily Line

Cook County property owners would get an extra four months to pay delinquent taxes before their land is put up for sale under a state bill championed by county Treasurer Maria Pappas.

The bill (SB3356), sponsored by State Sen. Elgie Sims (D-Chicago) and State Sen. Laura Murphy(D-Des Plaines), would delay the county’s annual tax sale until September, 13 months after second-installment property taxes are due. The existing law requires the county to auction off delinquent properties by May, giving taxpayers a nine-month window to make late payments. […]

Pappas expects to put up approximately 57,000 delinquent properties at this year’s tax sale scheduled for May 8, which owe approximately $188 million in unpaid taxes — a more than 50 percent increase as compared with last year, Pappas said.

“This is about the most vulnerable people in Cook County, and the numbers are getting worse,” Pappas said. “Something is seriously wrong. People need an extra four months to pay.” […]

The proposed bill gives the treasurer’s office a full year after the second installment due date to ask a judge for permission to sell delinquent tax certificates, after which Pappas has 35 days to hold the sale.

* Crain’s

A proposal before the Illinois General Assembly would overturn half a century of resistance to granny flats, coach houses and other “accessory dwelling units,” paving the way for these lower-cost housing types to flourish in towns all over Illinois.

“We want to create more options for people to create affordable housing in their communities,” said state Rep. Robyn Gabel, D-Evanston, who on Feb. 11 introduced HB 4869. The bill would prohibit any unit of local government from banning second living units on a residential property.

Advocates for accessory dwelling units, or ADUs, which went out of favor in the years after World War II, say that bringing them back would put new, affordably priced housing stock where people want it—in established neighborhoods with good schools, transportation and shopping—rather than out at the fringes of the suburbs.

Gabel’s proposed legislation “is a huge step forward,” said Steve Vance, director of urban planning for MAP Strategies, a Chicago code and permit management firm. Vance, a longtime proponent of allowing ADUs, said that enabling them on a statewide level would show that “the need for lower-cost, smaller-size housing is everywhere.”

* Center Square

Illinois lawmakers are considering a bill that would put mental health on a par with physical health in the state’s public schools.

Senate Bill 2473 would give students five days of excused absences per school year for mental health issues. Students would be able to make up any missed school work.

Steve Murray, director of counseling at Notre Dame Prep in Niles, said the bill was a step in the right direction.

He said the bill was a good start toward recognizing the extent to which children can suffer from issues like anxiety and depression.

“This is a recognition that these are on a par with the flu or a cold,” Murray said. “They need to be treated as real illnesses and treated as impediments to kids being successful in school.”

- Posted by Rich Miller        

16 Comments
  1. - Downstate Illinois - Tuesday, Feb 25, 20 @ 1:05 pm:

    The first bill will further restrict housing available under Section 8. Pets cause damage. All the denial in the world won’t cover the cost of replacing the carpet and pad after a male cat has spent 12 months marking its territory.

    The second bill will hurt neighborhoods struggling with dilapidated eyesores and crack houses. It will mean any clean ups will now just take longer.

    Can’t see how the uptight NIMBYians of Evanston will like the granny flats next door but it’s a good idea even if it b does threaten local control.

    The fourth bill just gives kids another excuse to skip school. They need to learn to deal with life, not hide from it.


  2. - So... - Tuesday, Feb 25, 20 @ 1:05 pm:

    IPR article doesn’t say, but does Holmes bill have a limit on the number of pets, or can I keep a pack of five pitbulls?


  3. - Just Observing - Tuesday, Feb 25, 20 @ 1:31 pm:

    === The first bill will further restrict housing available under Section 8. ===

    I thought that too, but taking quick glance at the bill, it only restricts the Housing Authority, not landlords, from restricting pets. So landlords that accept Section 8 are still free to refuse pets.

    Where it does restrict landlords is those acquired, constructed, or rehabilitated with any money from the Illinois Affordable Housing Trust Fund.


  4. - Tom Willis - Tuesday, Feb 25, 20 @ 1:38 pm:

    Cats can be neutered or spaded. Hardwood floors are more sanitary than dust mites, dusty, dirty carpets.


  5. - Simply Sayin' - Tuesday, Feb 25, 20 @ 1:44 pm:

    “The fourth bill just gives kids another excuse to skip school. They need to learn to deal with life, not hide from it.”

    Downstate:

    So you are saying kids with mental disorders, like diagnosed anxiety, depression, social anxiety order, and other mental disorders who are having an episode shouldn’t be treated the same as someone who has other medical issues (e.g. sickness)? No, kids with diagnosed disorders can’t just “deal with” it and, no again, its not “hiding” when there is a flare up. /smh.


  6. - Huh? - Tuesday, Feb 25, 20 @ 1:50 pm:

    The pet bill is a solution looking for a problem. The last house I rented, the lease came with a no pet clause. It turned out that the landlord was deathly allergic to cats and dog hair.


  7. - DuPage Saint - Tuesday, Feb 25, 20 @ 1:50 pm:

    No limit on weight or breed. That is brilliant
    As to granny houses; by the time you build them up to code it will cost as much as the main house. Maybe you could build without bathroom and use bathroom in main house and save a few bucks on real estate taxes


  8. - Da Big Bad Wolf - Tuesday, Feb 25, 20 @ 1:50 pm:

    === The second bill will hurt neighborhoods struggling with dilapidated eyesores and crack houses. It will mean any clean ups will now just take longer.===
    That’s quite an assumption you’re making, that a property owner who is delinquent on his tax bill has abandoned his property.


  9. - Da Big Bad Wolf - Tuesday, Feb 25, 20 @ 2:02 pm:

    ===As to granny houses; by the time you build them up to code it will cost as much as the main house.===
    How did you decide all granny flats and coach houses are not up to code?


  10. - SpfdNewb - Tuesday, Feb 25, 20 @ 2:13 pm:

    =How did you decide all granny flats and coach houses are not up to code?=

    They aren’t, it’s a strawman.


  11. - DuPage Saint - Tuesday, Feb 25, 20 @ 2:34 pm:

    I did not mean to say granny houses are not up to code And I thought when saying creating more housing talking about building new on a lot And since building codes are tougher now by the time you build would be costly. If mean converting older coach houses I still think would be expensive but not nearly as much as building from scratch.


  12. - Da Big Bad Wolf - Tuesday, Feb 25, 20 @ 3:09 pm:

    Re Senate Bill 2473, if a child has a mental illness issue or appointment can’t parents call in sick for them now?

    === They need to learn to deal with life, not hide from it.===
    Sadly you have a lot of company. A lot of people think like this, that mental illness is just a matter of attitude, it’s not a real illness like cancer. Even people in the medical field or insurance think like this when it comes to treatment. This is one of the reasons why mental illness is so hard to treat.


  13. - Common sense - Tuesday, Feb 25, 20 @ 3:21 pm:

    Students already have socks days, 5 additional ‘mental health’ days…I guarantee, 99% of mental health sick days will be abused…I know if I were a student, I’d have 5 free Fridays off of my likening.


  14. - Common sense - Tuesday, Feb 25, 20 @ 3:27 pm:

    Sick days**** They do need to deal with life, but many severe conditions such Schizophrenia, etc…need treatment and should work with the school to accommodate them….but that is the extreme minority of students…the vast majority of students will abuse this time off, as it is expected they will.


  15. - RNUG - Tuesday, Feb 25, 20 @ 3:32 pm:

    == The bill would prohibit any unit of local government from banning second living units on a residential property. ==

    Be interesting to see how the local zoning boards manage to deal with this. I know Springfield pretty much banned them; I had to jump through hoops to put a half bath in a detached garage because they were worried it might become living quarters.

    If this passes, I wonder if I can get back the money I had to spend to get a zoning patience? /s


  16. - RNUG - Tuesday, Feb 25, 20 @ 3:33 pm:

    darn spell check changing at the last second … variance, not patience …


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