Veto session for the Illinois General Assembly begins today in Springfield and lobbyists for the Illinois Association of REALTORS® (IAR) will be working on many fronts, monitoring legislation that affects Illinois private property owners and the real estate industry.

We will be addressing some issues related to the license law as we are “The Voice for Real Estate in Illinois” at the State Capitol when it comes to regulatory matters affecting our industry, and legislators as well as the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation look to us for leadership and guidance in these matters.

One of our big battles last spring was legislation to give all municipalities sweeping new regulatory and fee powers regarding vacant property; the original bill went too far, giving municipalities free reign to regulate and impose fees on property owners far beyond truly vacant or abandoned property. IAR held out for key limitations to the powers and ensured private property owners were protected and won those provisions in the redrafting of the legislation. We will be monitoring this during veto session with the goal of working toward a uniform state law instead of a patchwork of local ordinances across the state.

IAR lobbysists are meeting with the State Fire Marshal during veto session and into the spring session that will begin in January 2012 on an expected proposed rule that would revise the state’s Life Safety Code to require fire sprinkler systems in new home construction, an issue the IAR strongly opposes as it should be a choice made by the homeowners, not a mandate. Sprinkler systems can add thousands of dollars to the cost of a new home and have a very negative impact on new construction. Read more on the sprinkler issue in a recent blog post as it has come up on the local level as well recently in Central/Western Illinois.

Illinois REALTORS® can stay tuned to the action at the State Capitol at