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More landlord mandates could be signed by Pritzker

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(The Center Square) – A lawmaker blaming climate change for the flooding in the state created legislation that will mandate landlords inform prospective tenants if their property is in a high-risk flood zone.

Senate Bill 2601 is on the governor’s desk awaiting further action. State Rep. Abdelnasser Rashid, D-Bridgeview, the bill’s sponsor, said a flood can be financially devastating and that this legislation will protect working families.

“Illinois will be joining numerous other states and offering this important information and protection for renters,” said Rashid.

State Rep. Travis Weaver, R-Edwards, said every year legislators pass legislation that regulates small business and landlords thereby increasing housing costs.

“We all hear from constituents that have increased housing costs. Is this alone going to break the camel’s back? I’m not saying that it is, but at some point we’re going to have death by a thousand paper cuts,” said Weaver. “I think we’re already at that point. We have small businesses and citizens leaving the state and this is just one additional regulation to saddle on landlords.”

In the 2023 U.S. Census report on residential population, Illinois, compared to its neighboring states, was the only one to lose residents from 2022 to 2023.

Other opponents called the measure a “rules for thee but not for me” law for excluding the Illinois Department of Natural Resources from having to notify tenants with agriculture leases about flooding risks was signed by the governor.

In an exchange on the House floor, state Rep. Patrick Windhorst, R-Metropolis, pressed the bill sponsor about why the state agency was exempt from having to disclose whether or not the property being rented is in a high-risk flood zone.

“Why were they excluded?” asked Windhorst.

“This [bill] is for your traditional residential rental market,” said Rashid. “IDNR is the only one [state agency] excluded.”

“Did IDNR request they be excluded?” asked Windhorst

“I’m not sure,” said Rashid.

Rashid said it’s important families know if they’re in a flood zone.

“I saw it in my district and it can happen in any part of the state … 500-year floods are no longer 500-year events, they’re happening more frequently,” said Rashid.

After flooding impacted Cicero over the summer of 2023, residents called on local elected officials to increase investments to address future flooding. In June of 2021, Bloomington residents did the same and they specifically called for city officials to address the dated, consolidated sewer system.

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