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Everyone has their own priorities

Tuesday, Mar 31, 2020 - Posted by Rich Miller

* Local rent control ordinances are banned by state statute here

This Act may be cited as the Rent Control Preemption Act.

(50 ILCS 825/5)
Sec. 5. Rent control prohibited.

    (a) A unit of local government, as defined in Section 1 of Article VII of the Illinois Constitution, shall not enact, maintain, or enforce an ordinance or resolution that would have the effect of controlling the amount of rent charged for leasing private residential or commercial property.

* So, no matter what this group claims, an Illinois governor cannot unilaterally overturn a state statute…

People need to stop cynically using this very real crisis to advance their legislative priorities. Rent control is a legislative matter. Take it up with the General Assembly.

And stop misinforming the public! Don’t be covidiots.


  1. - The Captain - Tuesday, Mar 31, 20 @ 1:53 pm:

    People can’t pay their rent tomorrow. Their places of employment have been ordered closed and they can’t earn and can’t pay their bills. This is a today problem, not a when-the-legislature-gets-back problem.

  2. - PeoriaDem - Tuesday, Mar 31, 20 @ 2:00 pm:

    I fail to see how this isn’t a problem directly related to the COVID-19 process. Hundreds of thousands of Illinoisians have lost their jobs through no fault of their own and are now freaking out about how they are going to address paying the rent.

    The Governor can do the second part of that ask in the flier right now under his declaration of emergency. The first part is addressing the systemic reason why people are more and more rent burdened in many parts of this state.

  3. - Rich Miller - Tuesday, Mar 31, 20 @ 2:01 pm:

    ===This is a today problem===

    Yes, it is. But the governor has no authority to do what you want him to do. Begging for dictatorial rule is unAmerican.

  4. - DuPage Saint - Tuesday, Mar 31, 20 @ 2:01 pm:

    Eviction have already been stopped. Lots of people assume landlords are all rich. There are plenty of owners of 3 flats and 4 flats with mortgages to pay. Want rent control and rent forgiveness? How about real estate tax control or forgiveness

  5. - Rich Miller - Tuesday, Mar 31, 20 @ 2:02 pm:

    ===The Governor can do the second part of that ask===

    A governor has no power over federally established lending institutions. And no statutory authority that I’m aware of over credit unions, etc.

  6. - Southwest Sider - Tuesday, Mar 31, 20 @ 2:02 pm:

    I am a landlord by the way, and a sympathetic one. I realize that my buldings will not be profitable for the next few months. That being said, policy should also take into account that Landlords have to pay some basic bills, even if they take no profits. Loans and R.E. Taxes. The worst case scenario is to crate a foreclosure wave for rental buildings. Not good for tenants, landlords, banks or the community. We want stability of the housing stock.

  7. - Rich Miller - Tuesday, Mar 31, 20 @ 2:03 pm:

    ===Eviction have already been stopped.===

    That’s because it’s a law enforcement activity.

  8. - Just Another Anon - Tuesday, Mar 31, 20 @ 2:03 pm:

    I blame the lack of civics education. If the executive office is held by a party we agree with, we call out for it to exercise powers beyond what it is due to reshape America into something more to our liking. If the executive office is held by a party with which we disagree, we decry everything as executive overreach.

    I’m a big proponent of limited government, and nothing brought me more satisfaction than big government types who were smug and silent as the Obama administration unilaterally expanded executive powers, but are now screaming bloody murder when those powers are held by someone they disagree with.

    To the post. Simply stated, that’s not something the governor can do. The legislature is the most powerful branch of state government. It is expected to do its job. The governor is expected to faithfully execute the laws passed by the legislature (unless obviously unconstitutional). This fiction of the executive being able to override existing law is the same feeling used by people who want to use the courts as a sort of super legislature to effect their legislative priorities. Legislatures, go do your job. Executive Branch, go execute the law. Judiciary, get back to calling balls and strikes, or amend your D-1 and run for the legislature if you prefer to make policy. That said, when you train your organizers to run the Abbie Hoffman/Rahm Emmanuel playbook, you really can’t expect them to deviate from the script.

  9. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Mar 31, 20 @ 2:03 pm:

    === * So, no matter what this group claims, an Illinois governor cannot unilaterally overturn a state statute…===

    If your group lacks knowledge of process and/or the law… your damaging the very cause you want to champion.

    It’s either willful ignorance or blissful unawareness… but I’m guessing it’s just pushing wrong info for a priority in a crisis.

  10. - Pundent - Tuesday, Mar 31, 20 @ 2:03 pm:

    So we’re supposed to call JB today and ask him to do exactly what?

  11. - Cheryl44 - Tuesday, Mar 31, 20 @ 2:05 pm:

    I signed my new lease (remotely, of course) this morning. My tent normally goes up $15-20 dollars a year. Citing the pandemic and people literally not able to pay, my landlord not only didn’t raise the rest but they also implored people who think they may run into problems either now or in the near future to contact them and they will work something out.

  12. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Mar 31, 20 @ 2:07 pm:

    === I’m a big proponent of limited government, and nothing brought me more satisfaction than big government types who were smug and silent as the Obama administration unilaterally expanded executive powers, but are now screaming bloody murder when those powers are held by someone they disagree with.===

    Are you paying attention during this pandemic… or… as you enjoy your own satisfaction, those same folks you say are smug are begging, literally using the word “begging” for the executive(s) to wield more power in the crisis.

  13. - Real - Tuesday, Mar 31, 20 @ 2:23 pm:

    Rent control is a very real isdue in this crisis more especially since people are losing there jobs and are having reduced income. Your income may be very high but its not for others.

  14. - Oak Parker - Tuesday, Mar 31, 20 @ 2:29 pm:

    They want the governor to take “executive action” to “permanently repeal” a state statute. I think I need to sit down after that one.

  15. - City Zen - Tuesday, Mar 31, 20 @ 2:42 pm:

    Never knew JB’s shoulder had an opinion on this matter.

  16. - Candy Dogood - Tuesday, Mar 31, 20 @ 2:45 pm:

    ===stop cynically using===

    Key word is cynical.

    The pandemic is illustrating a lot of things that we need to change or re-think in terms of state and federal public policy.

    In a week or two we’re going to all see this very differently. Everything is different when death is at the door.

  17. - Huh? - Tuesday, Mar 31, 20 @ 3:11 pm:

    At the risk of being caught in the screening. People lose their jobs everyday through no fault of their own. I know, 10 years ago, I was laid off for a year. During the house bust, I lost my job. I went directly to unemployment and filed a claim. Every month, I scrimped and saved for the mortgage payment. I got no relief from my bank. I made a deal and kept it.

    I have a niece and nephew are in this situation. I send them what money I can.

    Secondly, I’m sure the lawyerly types could check in, but couldn’t a bill requiring a rent holiday be considered government seizure of private property? Where is the eminent domain? There is no government interest in a rent holiday. A lease is a private transaction between two parties. You stay, you pay.

  18. - Just Observing - Tuesday, Mar 31, 20 @ 3:12 pm:

    === Lots of people assume landlords are all rich. There are plenty of owners of 3 flats and 4 flats with mortgages to pay. ===

    Heck… there are lots of landlords that own just one condo unit or one single family home that also might be out of a job or under severe financial strain themselves. As you point out, they may be relying on the rent check just to cover the mortgage.

  19. - Demoralized - Tuesday, Mar 31, 20 @ 3:32 pm:

    == You stay, you pay.==

    You’re all heart.

    One more person who’s true character comes out.

  20. - Just Another Anon - Tuesday, Mar 31, 20 @ 4:21 pm:


    Its a lot easier to be generous when its the government interfering in other peoples contracts and taking other people’s money. If the government is going to interfere in rental and mortgage agreements, then then the government can make those landlords and mortgage lenders whole. If that’s the case, you just want every taxpayer to pay everyone else’s rent and mortgage for a few months.

    I can see stopping residential evictions during this period, a fair and reasonable policy to prevent people from being unfair and unreasonable. Apparently protecting people from unfair and unreasonable landlords isn’t enough, now you must punish all landlords as well? What did 79 year old Mrs. Krazlov who owns the 3 flat next door do you? Did the bad octogenarian landlady hurt your feelings?

  21. - Demoralized - Tuesday, Mar 31, 20 @ 4:29 pm:

    ==I can see stopping residential evictions during this period, a fair and reasonable policy to prevent people from being unfair and unreasonable.==

    Which is all I agree with. Did I say anything about absolving anyone of rent? No. So don’t put words in my mouth.

    The individual said “you stay, you pay.” That’s what I was responding to. This person’s entire comment seemed to indicate they didn’t agree with any relief during this time. Maybe that’s not what they meant but it sure sounded like it to me.

  22. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Mar 31, 20 @ 4:31 pm:

    === If that’s the case, you just want every taxpayer to pay everyone else’s rent and mortgage for a few months.===

    Like a business bailout?

    It’s not like there’s not a map for this in CARES.

  23. - Demoralized - Tuesday, Mar 31, 20 @ 4:36 pm:

    ==If that’s the case, you just want every taxpayer to pay everyone else’s rent and mortgage for a few months.==

    Also, that government is going to be doing that very thing I would imagine in several cases with the addition of $600 extra per week in everyone’s unemployment checks. And I don’t have a problem with that. The government’s giving a lot of money out to help everyone get through this situation, including businesses, and I would imagine they aren’t done giving money out. If that offends you, well, then your priorities are backwards.

  24. - JIbba - Tuesday, Mar 31, 20 @ 4:45 pm:

    “smug and silent as the Obama administration unilaterally expanded executive powers”

    When you think of people of another political stripe as “smug”, you’ve already attributed motivations to them that only exist in your own head.

  25. - Pelonski - Tuesday, Mar 31, 20 @ 5:08 pm:

    Is there any evidence we are seeing a sudden increase in rents? Typically when a recession occurs we see less rent increases, not more. I’m not sure rent control is a pressing need right now. Even if rents are rising, is that really a major problem at the moment? I think the bigger concern is providing for those who’ve lost their jobs, not dealing with incremental increases in living expenses. If we implemented rent control today, does that really help those people much?

  26. - David Zoltan - Tuesday, Mar 31, 20 @ 5:10 pm:

    The Shriver Center advised the Lift the Ban Campaign that under the State of Emergency powers the governor has that he can repeal the ban. You can ask them directly, my friend. Email me if you haven’t also received the full letter we sent to the governor and his staff, and I’ll be happy to forward to you as well.

  27. - Flapdoodle - Tuesday, Mar 31, 20 @ 6:16 pm:

    Yep, everyone’s got their own priorities . . . .

  28. - JoanP - Tuesday, Mar 31, 20 @ 8:23 pm:

    @ David Zoltan,

    No governor can “repeal” a law. In some situations, a governor can suspend enforcement but he has no power to repeal legislation passed by the GA.

  29. - Anonymous2 - Wednesday, Apr 1, 20 @ 12:19 am:

    The reference to orders, rules, and regulations is to those promulgated by the Executive. It does not authorize the Governor to permanently repeal any state statute. If it did, it would fail to heed the separation of powers and would be unconstitutional. Not to mention the phrase “within the limits of the authority conferred upon the Governor.”

  30. - Jawanza Malone - Wednesday, Apr 1, 20 @ 9:44 am:

    The Lift the Ban coalition is not attempting to take advantage of this crisis to advance “legislative priorities.” The Coalition is calling attention to a major impediment in Illinois’ legal structure that is prohibiting municipal leaders from acting on behalf of their constituents. Sure, this is the same point raised for years; but this current inability to act is an excellent example of why the ban shouldn’t exist in the first place. The Governor needs to act swiftly to bring relief to the hundreds of thousands of families in Illinois who have lost wages, or are at immediate risk of losing wages as a result of responses to this crisis. The Illinois Emergency Management Act provides a pathway to get that done.

  31. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Apr 1, 20 @ 9:50 am:

    === The Governor needs to act swiftly===

    The thing is… asking for swift action for something a governor can’t legally do *is* the textbook example of trying to take advantage of a situation for you own priority that wouldn’t normally be in question.

    Words matter.

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

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