Two Great ISBA Member Benefits Sponsored by
ISBA Mutual Lawyers Malpractice Insurance
view counter
A Value of $1,344, Included with Membership
Free CLE
view counter
view counter

ISBA Statehouse Review for the Week of June 6, 2017

ISBA Director of Legislative Affairs Jim Covington reviews legislation of interest to ISBA members. This week, he summarizes some of the more important bills that have been sent to the governor, or will be sent this summer. Once he receives it from the General Assembly, he has 60 days to sign, veto, or amendatorily veto it. If he takes no action, it becomes law as a “pocket signature.”

For context, please note that the House introduced 4,063 bills, and the Senate introduced 2,212 bills. The number of bills passing both chambers was 296 House Bills and 194 Senate bills.

More information on each bill is available below the video.

Objections to jurisdiction over the person. House Bill 188 (Thapedi, D-Chicago; Raoul, D-Chicago) amends § 2-301 of the Code of Civil Procedure by changing the exception to the statute’s general rule. The general rule is that a party may object to the court’s jurisdiction (without waiving an objection to the court’s jurisdiction) over the party’s person by filing a motion to dismiss the entire proceeding or by filing a motion to quash service of process, but the party must do this before they file any other pleading.

House Bill 188’s exception to this general rule of waiver allows a motion for extension of time to answer or otherwise plead or a motion filed under § 2-1301, § 2-1401, and § 2-1401.1

But it requires any motion objecting to the court’s jurisdiction over the party’s person under § 2-301 must be filed within 60 days of the court’s order disposing of the initial motion filed under these three sections. A party may combine these motions without waiving the objection to jurisdiction.

Passed both chambers; effective January 1, 2018 if signed into law.

Child support. Senate Bill 69 (Kelly Burke, D-Oak Lawn; Hastings, D-Matteson) combines and reconciles the recent changes in child support by PA 99-90, PA 99-763, and PA 99-764. The only change that could be considered substantive was to allow the parents to include the federal tax credit for childcare in the computation when allocating childcare costs between them.

Passed both chambers; effective July 1, 2017 if signed into law.

Adult dependent child. House Bill 2516 (Andersson, R-Geneva; Schimpf, R-Murphysboro) amends statutory awards from a decedent’s estate to an “adult dependent child.” Currently, this statute allows the court, if it deems reasonable, to award the surviving spouse, minor children, or “adult dependent children” a sum of money for their proper support for the nine-month period after the decedent’s death. Under current law it may not be less than $20,000 for the spouse and $10,000 for each child.

House Bill 2516 does the following: 

  • Creates a separate statutory award for adult dependent child for at least $5,000, but it gives the court discretion to award whatever sum it deems reasonable or agreed upon by the surviving spouse and representative of the decedent’s estate or affiant under a small-estate affidavit.
  • Links the statute to the adult child’s financial dependency on the decedent family member.
  • Creates a process to make the statute work more effectively by requiring the adult child’s agent or guardian or other adult on behalf of the adult child provide written notice to the representative or affiant asserting the adult dependent child’s financial dependency or the decedent.

House Bill 2516 passed out of the Senate 53-0-0 and is on the House calendar for concurrence possibly this summer. It would have a January 1, 2018 effective date if signed into law.

Collaborative Process Act. Senate Bill 67 (Williams, D-Chicago; Hastings, D-Matteson) codifies another form of alternative dispute resolution for family law cases only. At its core, collaborative process is a voluntary dispute-resolution process in which clients agree that their named counsel will represent them solely for purposes of resolving a particular dispute. If the matter is not settled during the collaborative process, it requires that new lawyers be retained for purposes of litigation. The process is intended to promote full and open disclosure, and, as is the case in mediation, information disclosed in a collaborative process is privileged against use in any subsequent litigation. Sixteen other states have enacted statutes or rules or both to standardize this limited scope representation. ISBA has filed a proposed supreme court rule to address the withdrawal of representation aspect to this bill.

Passed both chambers; effective January 1, 2018 if signed into law.

Illinois Administrative Procedure Act. Senate Bill 584 (Barickman, R-Bloomington; Andersson, R-Geneva) ensures that the appeals by citizens in administrative review actions are not thrown out of court for a scrivener’s error that is called a “misnomer.” Senate Bill 584 amends the Administrative Procedure Act and the Administrative Review Law to provide a means for correcting good-faith failures to perfectly name necessary parties in actions for administrative review. The proposed legislation would do several things to resolve this problem.

  • Requires that final administrative orders list all of the parties of record together with their last known address of record. The final order must also include whether there are any agency rules requiring a motion for reconsideration as a part of obtaining a reviewable final administrative decision and, if so, the citation to the rule.  
  • Prohibit an action for administrative review to be dismissed for lack of jurisdiction based on the misnomer of any agency that is properly served with summons issued in the action within the applicable time limits. It also prohibits dismissal for failure to perfectly name an agent if a timely action of administrative review has been filed that identifies the final administrative decision under review and makes a good faith effort to properly name the administrative agency.
  • Allows a court to correct misnomers for an erroneous identification of the administrative agency that was made in good faith.

Passed both chambers; effective on the governor’s signature.  

Maintenance guidelines revision. House Bill 2537 (Moeller, D-Elgin; Hastings, D-Matteson) makes three changes to the maintenance guidelines’ statute in the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act to promote equitable results.

(1) It integrates the maintenance guidelines statute with the new income-shares (child support) that takes effect July 1, 2017. It does this by raising the ceiling in the maintenance statute to make it parallel with the ceiling for the income shares statute. The maintenance statute would then apply to cases if the parties’ combined gross income reaches $500,000 as opposed to the current ceiling of $250,000.

(2) It eliminates the current unfairness in the maintenance statute by eliminating the 20% “cliffs” in the formula for duration of the marriage. Therefore, House Bill 2537 gradually increases the duration of maintenance each (subject to the discretion of the court) by 4% until the parties’ 20th anniversary. House Bill 2537 makes no changes to marriages of less than five years or marriages of more than 20 years.

(3) It links the temporary relief statute (§ 501) with the maintenance statute (§ 504) so that an award of temporary maintenance under § 501 is a corresponding credit to the duration of the maintenance in the guidelines.

House Bill 2537 passed out of the Senate 56-0-0 and is on the House calendar for concurrence possibly this summer. It would have a June 1, 2018 effective date.

Civil asset forfeiture. House Bill 303 (Guzzardi, D-Chicago; Harmon, D-Oak Park) amends the Drug Asset Forfeiture Act, Article 36, and money laundering article to do the following:

  • Removes the property owner’s burden of proving their innocence. Instead, the burden of proving their guilt will rest with the government.
  • Creates an expedited process for innocent owners to have their cases adjudicated more quickly.
  • Increases the government’s burden of proof from probable cause to preponderance of the evidence.
  • Government must meet the higher burden of clear and convincing evidence if the person is found not guilty at trial in a related criminal case, or if the government loses the criminal case at the preliminary stage.
  • Requires the government to do more to ensure that the property owner receives notice of the forfeiture proceedings and understands the steps they must take to argue for the return of their property.
  • Eliminates the requirement that property owners must pay a “cost bond” equal to 10% of the value of the seized property before a judge can hear their case.
  • Exempts small sums of cash from forfeiture.
  • Mere possession of a miniscule amount of drugs will no longer serve as a legal basis for forfeiture.

It also requires new data collection and public access to that information about seizures of property by police departments and forfeitures by prosecutors.

It passed the Senate 56-0-0 and is on the House calendar for concurrence possibly this summer. It has an effective date of July 1, 2018.

Installment Sales Contract Act. Senate Bill 885 (Koehler, D-Peoria; Gordon-Booth, D-Peoria) creates the Installment Sales Contract Act. It will require that sales of residential real estate by installment contract conform to the Act. “Residential real estate” means real estate with a dwelling structure excluding property that is sold as a part of a tract of land consisting of four acres or more that is zoned for agricultural purposes.

It applies to sellers that enter into an installment sale contract more than three times during a 12-month period to sell residential real estate. Within ten days of the date of sale the seller must record the contract or a memorandum of the contract with the recorder of deeds. It prohibits the installment sale contract from forbidding the buyer to record the contract or a memorandum of the contract. Makes it a violation of the Consumer Fraud and Deceptive Business Practices Act to knowingly violate the Installment Sales Contract.

Passed both chambers; effective January 1, 2018 if signed into law.  

Workers’ Compensation. House Bill 2525 (Hoffman, D-Belleville; Raoul, D-Chicago) makes a number of changes to the Workers’ Compensation Act. Provides that a rate is excessive if it is likely to produce a long run profit that is unreasonably high for the insurance provided or if expenses are unreasonably high in relation to the services rendered. Repeals provisions regarding presumptions that a competitive market exists, determining whether a competitive market exists, and disapproval of rates under specified circumstances.

Provides that accidental injuries sustained while traveling to or from work do not arise out of and in the course of employment. Defines “in the course of employment” and “arising out of the employment.”

Permits an employer to file with the Illinois Workers' Compensation Commission a workers’ compensation safety program or a workers’ compensation return to work program implemented by the employer. Provides that the Commission may certify any such safety program as a bona fide safety program after reviewing the program.

In a provision concerning compensation for the period of temporary total incapacity for work resulting from an accidental injury, provides that (1) injuries to the shoulder shall be considered injuries to part of the arm and (2) injuries to the hip shall be considered injuries to part of the leg. Contains provisions concerning repetitive and cumulative injuries; permanent partial disability determinations; electronic claims; annual reports by the Commission concerning the state of self-insurance for workers’ compensation in Illinois; and duties of the Workers’ Compensation Premium Rates Task Force; and other matters.

Provides that the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission, in consultation with the Workers’ Compensation Medical Fee Advisory Board shall establish an evidence-based drug formulary. Requires an annual investigation of procedures covered for ambulatory surgical centers and the establishment of a fee schedule. Changes a waiting period for benefits for certain firefighters, emergency medical technicians, and paramedics. Changes compensation computations for subsequent injuries to the same part of the spine.

Passed both chambers; effective on the governor’s signature. 

Workers’ Compensation Insurance. House Bill 2622 (Fine, D-Glenview; Biss, D-Skokie) sets up a workers’ compensation company.

Passed both chambers; effective on the governor’s signature. 

Posted on June 8, 2017 by Sara Anderson
Filed under: