2012 Legislative Update Winds of Change in the Windy City

 At any given time, there are dozens of housing-related bills—both major and not-so-major—being debated by lawmakers in Chicago, Springfield, and Washington, DC. This legislation can have a huge impact condo residents, boards, and those who  serve them, including affecting how much your individual unit is worth.  

 And while there are lobbyists and organizations rallying on behalf of boards and  unit owners, it's important for those boards and owners to be proactive and  aware of the bills being proposed so they can communicate with their  representatives and make sure their interests are being fully represented to  lawmakers. Trite as it sounds, every voice counts.  

 Hot Topics

 There are a few major pieces of housing-related legislative initiatives trending  right now because residents will have to make immediate changes should they  pass. One of the biggest—and most controversial—is the fight to ban smoking in private apartments. (For an in-depth examination  of this legislation please see the article entitled 'Where There's Smoke,  There's Controversy' in this issue of The Chicagoland Cooperator.)

 Some other important pieces of pending legislation includes HB5513, known as the  Day Care Bill. As proposed, this bill would amend the Illinois Common Interest  Community Association Act to permit licensed day care centers within community  associations (though not condominium associations) even if an association  prohibits businesses from being operated on its property.  

 The bill has both its fans and its critics. Carol Marcou, CMCA, AMS, PCAM,  chairman of the Illinois Legislative Action Committee (ILAC) of the Community  Associations Institute (CAI) is in the latter camp. According to Marcou, ILAC's  position is that when an owner purchases into a community association, they  agree to abide by the governing documents of that particular community  association. Owners have the right to request that the governing documents be  amended, but in the meantime, they should act in good faith and abide by the  decisions of their board and the super-majority of fellow residents.  

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