Also Signs Legislation to Improve Government Transparency and Prohibit Eavesdropping
CHICAGO –-(ENEWSPF)–December 30, 2014. Governor Pat Quinn today signed legislation to support secure homeownership for veterans with disabilities and their families. The new law expands property tax exemptions for veterans with disabilities, which will reduce the financial burden of homeownership. Today’s action is part of Governor Quinn’s agenda to honor and support the men and women who have served our nation.
“When our brave men and women return from service, they deserve a safe place to call home,” Governor Quinn said. “Those of us on the homefront have a duty to take care of our servicemembers who have borne the battle. This new law is another way we can support veterans with disabilities by ensuring that Illinois’ heroes aren’t burdened by overwhelming property taxes.”
Senate Bill 2905, sponsored by State Senator Michael Hastings (D-Matteson) and State Representative Stephanie Kifowit (D-Aurora), expands property tax exemptions for veterans with disabilities and their spouses, increasing the disabled veterans’ homestead exemption from $70,000 to $100,000. The law also expands the disabled veterans’ homestead exemption to housing donated to veterans with disabilities by charities.
Senator Hastings, who is a military veteran, introduced the legislation after hearing from a veteran who was 100 percent disabled and unable to pay the property taxes on a home that had been equipped for his disability and given to him by a charity. The law also extends the disabled veterans’ standard homestead exemption to a veteran’s spouse in the event of the veteran’s service-related death.
The new law goes into effect immediately.
Governor Quinn also today signed House Bill 3672 which requires open meetings of the Metropolitan Transit Authority Board (CTA), the Regional Transportation Authority Board (RTA), the Suburban Bus Board (Pace) and the Commuter Rail Board (Metra) to be streamed online.
The bill, sponsored by State Senator Toi Hutchinson (D-Chicago Heights) and State Representative Al Riley (D-Olympia Fields), also requires a recording of the meeting be posted to each board’s website. Today’s action is part of Governor Quinn’s agenda to make Illinois government more accountable, transparent and effective.
The new law goes into effect June 1, 2015.
In addition, the Governor signed Senate Bill 1342, sponsored by State Senator Kwame Raoul (D-Chicago) and State Representative Elaine Nekritz (D-Northbrook), which prohibits the secret recording of private conversations without the consent of all participants.
A conversation is considered private if any of the participants have a reasonable expectation of privacy, such as during a private telephone conversation. The law includes exemptions for law enforcement investigating certain felonies such as kidnapping, gang or drug offenses, as approved by the State’s Attorney and county judge on a case-by-case basis.
The legislation replaces portions of the Illinois Criminal Code found unconstitutional by the Illinois Supreme Court in March. The new law does not prohibit overt recording in public space, where there can be no reasonable expectation of privacy.
The law goes into effect immediately.