With a little more than a month to go in the scheduled spring legislative session, several important bills sponsored by Senator Tim Bivins have been passed by the Senate and are now awaiting action in the House of Representatives.
As negotiations on a budget framework package continue, Senator Bivins has been working to guide his legislation through the General Assembly. Several of the bills reflect concerns of local municipalities.
Senate Bill 587 provide that religious organizations are exempt from Hotel Operators’ Occupation Tax when acting as a hotel operator renting, leasing, or letting rooms in furtherance of the purpose for which it is organized, or to other religious organizations. The bill has been passed by a 51-0 vote of the Senate.
“Christ in the Wilderness is a retreat center located near Stockton, where individuals are welcomed to spend time alone in a secluded natural environment. The center recently became subject to the Hotel Operators’ Occupation Tax after not being subject to the tax for many years. Senate Bill 587 would restore its exempt status,” Senator Bivins said.
Senate Bill 588 extends a tax increment financing (TIF) district adopted on January 31, 1995, by the Village of Milledgeville to 35 years. The bill has been passed by a 52-0 vote of the Senate.
To accommodate the size of modern semi-trucks, Senate Bill 51 increases to 65 feet (now 55 feet) the maximum length of a truck tractor in combination with a semitrailer allowed on all roadways in Illinois. The bill has been passed by a 51-0 vote of the Senate.
Senator Bivins has also reintroduced legislation (Senate Bill 607) that remedies an archaic law that currently makes automatic knives like those sold at big box and sporting goods stores, illegal because they could be regarded as “switchblades.”
“Automatic knives can be considered illegal under the way the law is currently written, because the knives contain a spring in the handle. But they are not ‘switchblades,’” Senator Bivins said. “Automatic knives have been used by people in all walks of life for more than 20 years.”
Senate Bill 607 allows for the sale, manufacture, purchase, possession or carry of a spring-action knife by a person with a valid FOID card, or by a person or entity engaged in the business of selling or manufacturing spring-action knives. The bill has been passed by a 52-0 vote of the Senate.
Cosponsored by Senator Bivins, Senate Resolution 3 sets a limit of five terms (10 years) for legislators serving as Senate President and five terms (10 years) for legislators serving as Senate Minority Leader. The resolution has been adopted by a 58-0 vote of the Senate.