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New McGuire law extends the motor vehicle theft prevention act

mcguire autotheftSPRINGFIELD –An existing vehicle theft law has been extended, thanks to legislation introduced by State Senator Pat McGuire (D-Crest Hill). The law was signed by the governor today.

The Motor Vehicle Theft Prevention Act was due to sunset in January, 2016, but will be extended by the passage of this measure into law. Originally introduced in 2012, the intention of the Act was to create a statewide council that assessed the scope of motor vehicle theft, and developed and implemented a plan to curb motor vehicle theft.

“I think the intention of the original council was a good one, but it was clear their work was not entirely finished,” McGuire said. “I hope that with the extension of this council, we can start effecting serious change when it comes to motor vehicle theft.”

The original Act also created the motor vehicle theft prevention trust fund which not only paid costs incurred by the council, but additionally  funds programs aimed at decreasing the amount of motor vehicle theft. Insurers providing private motor vehicle insurance pay into the fund.

The law takes effect immediately, moving the sunset date of the original Act to January 1, 2020.

Jones' new law saves homeowners from exorbitant property tax bills

jones annexationSpringfield – State Senator Emil Jones III (D-Chicago) sponsored a measure to help new homeowners handle their property tax bill. Senate Bill 780 requires county assessors to mail information to new homeowners regarding the rules and filing periods for applying and reapplying for exemptions.

“When homes are purchased, especially by first-time homeowners, it’s important we provide them with information about savings possibilities,” Senator Jones said. “This new law is fair and will help families focus their finances on living expenses and future investments.”

The new law also requires new homeowners to apply or reapply for any homestead exemptions the property is eligible for. If the new owner does not apply/reapply for exemptions, the property no longer qualifies for an existing exemption. The legislation requires the assessor to cancel the exemption for the current year.

Public Act 99-0164 takes effect immediately.

Holmes law ensures fire hydrant maintenance

hydrantSPRINGFIELD — Fire protection districts that must spend time, money and manpower to ensure fire hydrants on private property are visible and functional will be compensated under a new law sponsored by State Sen. Linda Holmes and signed into law today.

“The overwhelming majority of our local fire protection districts in Illinois get by on frugal budgets and the selfless efforts of brave volunteers,” Holmes said. “If people entrusted with maintaining fire hydrants aren’t doing so, our fire protection districts should be compensated for the time and effort they need to take to rectify the situation.”

Under the new law property owners who fail to rectify problems with fire hydrants on their property after being given written notice will be held responsible for reasonable costs incurred in bringing the hydrants up to code and any legal fees incurred in collecting those costs.

The legislation was Senate Bill 740. The new law takes effect Jan. 1.

Martinez fights housing discrimination

martinez 73015SPRINGFIELD — Judges have denied oral claims of discrimination in real estate transactions because they believe the Human Rights Act only prohibits discriminatory statements that are printed, circulated, mailed or published.

Senator Iris Y. Martinez (D-Chicago) worked to strengthen the Human Rights Act this year.

“Words have meaning and our laws need to be strict enough so that people who make discriminatory comments are held accountable,” Martinez said.

Under Martinez’s proposal, which was signed into law today, oral discrimination during real estate transactions will be illegal.

The new law also provides that it is a civil rights violation for a real estate broker, salesman or any other person engaging in a real estate transaction to make written or oral statements that indicate a preference for familial status.

Due to this change, expectant mothers, single parents and individuals adopting children will be protected from discrimination.

House Bill 3464 is effective immediately.

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