ISBA Statehouse Review for the week of December 6, 2012
ISBA Director of Legislative Affairs Jim Covington reviews bills in Springfield of interest to ISBA members. In this episode he covers Senate Bill 3626 (New therapy in family law cases), Senate Bill 957 (Temporary driver's licenses), House Bill 30 (Medical cannabis), Senate Bill 16 (Fast-track mortgage foreclosures) and House Bill 3636 (Mechanics' Lien Act). More information on the bill is available below the video.
New therapy in family law cases. Senate Bill 3626 (Munoz, D-Chicago; Zalewski, D-Chicago) authorizes a court to order the parties to participate in “integrative family therapy” in an action for dissolution or in a post-judgment proceeding involving a minor child. Defines “integrative family therapy” as a therapy model specifically aimed at high-conflict dissolution of marriage or post-judgment proceedings that involve custody or visitation where minor children have or are at risk for developing a pathological condition or pathological conditions, including but not limited to depression, anxiety, and personality disorders, in the absence of intervention. What is said at these sessions may not be considered in adjudicating the action unless stipulated by the parties. It allows the court to assess fees as equitable. On second reading in the House after passing the Senate.
Temporary driver’s licenses. Senate Bill 957 (Cullerton, D-Chicago; Acevedo, D- Chicago) allows the Secretary of State to issue temporary visitor’s driver’s licenses to applicants who have resided in Illinois for more than a year, are ineligible to obtain a social security number, and who are unable to present documentation from the federal government authorizing their presence in the United States. Holders of these licenses must comply with other Vehicle Code regulations, including insurance requirements. Makes a temporary visitor’s driver’s license invalid if the driver cannot provide proof of liability insurance upon request of a law enforcement officer and a petty offense driver's license violation. Assigned to the House Transportation Committee after passing the Senate on a 41-14-1 vote.
Medical cannabis. House Bill 30 (Lang, D-Chicago) creates a three-year pilot program that would make Illinois the 19th state (along with the District of Columbia) to allow sick or dying people to use small amounts of medical cannabis. It would require a doctor to certify that the patient suffers from a “debilitating medical condition” such as cancer, HIV/AIDS, or hepatitis C and that this limited use would ease that suffering. On third reading in the House.
Fast-track mortgage foreclosure. Senate Bill 16 (Collins, D-Chicago; Lyons, D-Chicago) creates an expedited judgment and sale procedure for abandoned residential property. An additional filing fee will be imposed on plaintiffs in a tiered system in which the fees increase in proportion to the number of foreclosures a plaintiff prosecutes. The fees will also pay for “housing counseling” for residents who are going through the foreclosure process in effort to help them save their homes. Clarifies that a portion of the Conveyances Act is permissive instead of mandatory to prevent that portion of the Act from affecting the validity of a properly recorded mortgage by a trustee in bankruptcy. Passed both chambers to be sent to the Governor.
Mechanics’ Lien Act. House Bill 3636 (Burke, D-Evergreen Park; Mulroe, D-Chicago) does three things in response to the LaSalle Bank National Association vs. Cypress Creek opinion. (1) Requires that the owner or interested person’s demand for suit to be commenced or answered within 30 days must contain this language in at least 10-point, boldface type: “Failure to respond to this notice within 30 days after receipt, as required by Section 34 of the Mechanics Lien Act, shall result in the forfeiture of the referenced lien.” (2) Defines a “lien creditor” as someone who does work or furnishes material under this Act for improvements. A lien creditor is preferred over other encumbrances except that previous encumbrances are preferred only to the extent of the value of the land at the time the contract was made for the improvements, and each lien creditor is preferred to the value of all later improvements regardless of whether the lien creditor provided those improvements. (3) If the sale proceeds are insufficient to satisfy claims of both prior encumbrances and lien creditors, the sale proceeds are to be distributed as follows: (a) Any previous encumbrance has a paramount lien in the portion of the proceeds attributable to the value of the land at the time of making of the contract for improvements. (b) Any lien creditors have a paramount lien in the portion of the proceeds attributable to all later improvements made to the property. (4) It has an immediate effective date. House Bill 3636 is in the House awaiting concurrence on Senate Amendment No. 2.