The Illinois REALTORS® helped keep the Senate “retainage” bill from advancing Thursday with testimony before the House Executive Committee.
But REALTORS® must continue the fight said Illinois REALTORS® Senior Vice President Governmental Affairs Greg St. Aubin, as the committee is scheduled to reconsider the proposed legislation next Tuesday. REALTORS® should contact their legislators through the Call For Action, and in the meantime, St. Aubin will prepare to testify before the committee again.
St. Aubin testified against Senate Bill 3052, which seeks to limit the money developers hold back from paying contractors — also known as retainage — until construction projects are finished, punch lists are completed and inspections have been approved. The bill caps retainage at 10 percent but lowers it to 5 percent once half the work has been done.
“We’re strongly opposed to this bill,” said St. Aubin. “We’re not talking about a David and Goliath kind of situation as this bill’s proponents would have you believe. We’re talking about sophisticated business entities negotiating contracts fairly with each other.”
Big developers, small “mom and pop” developers, big contractors and small contractors need to be able to negotiate contracts without state interference, using their strengths, needs and priorities, he said. While some smaller contractors say they’re forced to accept larger retainage percentages from developers without any room for negotiation, others with difficult-to-find specialty skills can dictate their terms.
If the bill is passed, contractors will gain an automatic advantage in contract negotiations, he said.
During Thursday’s hearing, Reps. Daniel Burke (D-1st District), Luis Arroyo (D-3rd), Marcus Evans, Jr. (D-33rd), Gregory Harris (D-13th) and Arthur Turner (D-9th) voted to advance the bill, while Reps. Robert Rita (D-28th), Emmanuel Chris Welch (D-7th), Joe Sosnowski (R-69th), Chad Hays (R-104th), David Reis (R-109th) and Brian Stewart (R-89th) voted against it.