House Passes Leadership Term Limits, Source of Income Protections for Renters
The Illinois House advanced several bills Thursday, including one which would implement term limits on leadership positions in the General Assembly and another that would create additional protections for tenants’ sources of income.
House Bill 642, introduced by Rep. Anthony DeLuca, D-Chicago Heights, would bar any individual from serving more than 10 consecutive years in a leadership position in the General Assembly, including speaker of the House, president of the Senate, and minority leadership positions in each house.
The bill would take effect for any legislators seated on or after January 12, 2022.
“This is a big moment for reform in the state of Illinois,” DeLuca said on the house floor Thursday.
While the Illinois House and Senate both passed term limits on party leadership in their respective chamber rules in January, the new bill would enforce the term limits through state statute.
The rule changes come on the heels of former Speaker Michael Madigan being ousted following his record 36 years as speaker between 1983 and the election of Speaker Emanuel “Chris” Welch in January.
On the house floor, DeLuca credited Welch for pushing for the new term limits.
“All of us here know how things work in Springfield, we included term limits in our rules, that in itself was very historic,” DeLuca said. “This takes it to an entirely new level, and it would not have happened without the support of Speaker Welch.”
House Bill 642 passed with no votes against in the House and will be sent to the Senate.
Source of income protections
The House also passed House Bill 2775, introduced by Rep. La Shawn Ford, D-Chicago.
The bill amends the state’s Homelessness Prevention Act by creating additional legal defenses for renters and protections against discrimination based on source of income, as well as preventing undue administrative burdens when applying for housing assistance.
Protected sources of income under the bill would include various types of income including emergency housing assistance, social security, disability support, and federal Section 8 housing vouchers.
Ford said rental discrimination based on source of income is often a “proxy” for other factors that target communities of color and people with disabilities.
“Without source of income protections, landlords can discriminate against veterans, voucher holders, people with disabilities and older adults by refusing to accept their non-wage income,” Ford said.
“This new law would be critical to ensure a more just and equitable housing market across our state and to combat historic segregation and discrimination,” he added.
The bill states that a landlord commits a civil rights violation if they choose to apply an income or asset requirement to a tenant with a “non-wage source of income”.
Opponents of the bill, including Rep. Deanne Mazzochi, R-Elmhurst, said it would impose unnecessary restrictions and requirements on landlords.
“What this body seems to keep wanting to do is impose more burdens on the landlords, and I’d really like to know in what universe you get more affordable housing by making affordable housing harder to do,” Mazzochi said.
The bill passed by a 62-48 vote and will be sent to the Senate.
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