Legislative victories Make Positive Change - Metropolitan Planning Council

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Legislative victories Make Positive Change

Bills passed by the Illinois Legislature advance sustainable, equitable planning and infrastructure

Flickr user Randy von Liski (CC)

This session in Springfield has been the culmination of years of work by MPC and our partners to advance sustainable, equitable planning and infrastructure investment. We're thrilled to report the passage of the following bills through both chambers of the Illinois General Assembly, and look forward to their being signed by Governor Pritzker:

Preserve existing affordability and produce new affordable housing through property tax incentives (included in omnibus package HB2621 Guzzardi/Hunter). Financial incentives are a powerful tool for building owners and developers to voluntarily produce or preserve affordable housing. Building on the proven framework of Cook County property tax incentives, HB2621 reduces property taxes for new housing construction or substantial rehabilitation projects that include 15 percent or more affordable units. HB2621 also contains several other important affordable housing production measures.

Institutionalize performance-based planning (HB253 Buckner/Villivalam). Illinois residents deserve to have transportation infrastructure investment priorities guided by transparent, data-informed methods. HB253 requires the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) and Regional Transportation Authority (RTA) to develop comprehensive, equitable, and transparent criteria for transportation project selection. We need to be clear about how billions of Rebuild Illinois and federal transportation dollars are being used to achieve the transportation, environmental, and equity outcomes Illinois residents deserve.

Eliminate IDOT’s local match requirement for pedestrian and bicycle infrastructure (HB270 Moeller/Belt). Under State of Illinois guidelines, local municipalities have been required to contribute 20 percent of the cost of building sidewalks and side paths for walking/biking along IDOT-managed roads. HB270 removes this local match requirement, ensuring IDOT pays 100 percent of the cost of pedestrian and biking infrastructure on state roads, just like they do for cars and trucks.

Require statewide lead service line replacement (HB3739 Robinson/Bush). There is no safe level of lead exposure. Exposure can cause behavior problems and learning disabilities in young children, and also affects the health of adults. HB3739 requires utilities to replace every lead service line in Illinois while providing realistic timelines and structures to get the work done.

Fund a statewide study of water rates (HB3853 Lapointe, funding in SB2800 budget bill). In 2019, MPC supported the passage of a bill tasking the University of Illinois-Chicago with studying Illinois’ escalating water rates so that the state can understand why water rates are becoming unaffordable for too many residents. Unfortunately, that study wasn’t funded. HB3853 extends the timeline of the study, and the state budget bill appropriates the necessary funding to accomplish it.

The successful passage of each of these efforts required the deep expertise, hard work, and dedication of partners from across the community, nonprofit, government, and academic sectors too numerous to list here (you know, and we know, who you are!). We are proud to work in collaboration with so many talented and committed people. Thank you all!  

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For more than 85 years, the Metropolitan Planning Council (MPC) has partnered with communities, businesses, and governments to unleash the greatness of the Chicago region. We believe that every neighborhood has promise, every community should be heard, and every person can thrive. To tackle the toughest urban planning and development challenges, we create collaborations that change perceptions, conversations—and the status quo. Read more about our work »

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