Governmental Affairs team watching out for REALTORS® during holiday weekend

Lobbyists Greg St. Aubin and Julie Sullivan won’t be doing any grilling this weekend because they’ll monitoring legislative activity at the State Capitol on behalf of REALTORS® and property owners.

While REALTORS® try to squeeze in a picnic, a barbecue or a sporting event sometime during the Memorial Day weekend, the Illinois REALTORS® statehouse lobbyists are monitoring activity at the State Capitol.

The General Assembly is scheduled to adjourn on May 31 and many bills are under consideration that could affect REALTORS® and property owners they represent. And of course, legislators are also working to resolve the state budget crisis. Since the House is scheduled to meet Sunday and Monday and the Senate is scheduled to meet Monday, lobbyists figure to have a very busy weekend keeping up with advancing legislation.



Illinois REALTORS® headquarters closed Monday for Memorial Day

On Monday, in observance of Memorial Day, the Illinois REALTORS® offices in Springfield will be closed. The offices will reopen with regular hours on Tuesday.


Did you know the seeds of this holiday were planted in 1868 with the creation of Decoration Day? According to, Decoration Day was designed to honor soldiers who died during the Civil War by decorating their graves.

About 20 years later, the holiday was changed to Memorial Day and dedicated to the memory of all who died in war.

In 1971, Memorial Day became a federal holiday. It is now observed on the last Monday in May.

Budget crisis, license law changes and more in today’s Illinois REALTORS® State Capitol Report

A bill (House Bill 3528) designed to make several changes to Illinois real estate license law, an initiative of Illinois REALTORS® and supported by the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation, will be considered by Gov. Bruce Rauner following unanimous Senate approval Thursday.

House Bill 3528 is one of numerous real estate related bills mentioned in today’s edition of the State Capitol Report. As the May 31 deadline nears for this legislative session, Illinois REALTORS® anticipates several budget proposals to be brought to the General Assembly, including Senate Bill 9. Read today’s State Capitol Report.

Capital Area REALTORS® get third consecutive annual RPAC award

(l to r) John Klemm, Phil Chiles, Dan Sale and Ed Mahoney.

On the strength of its participation rate and number of major investors, the Capital Area REALTORS® finished second in RPAC fundraising for medium-sized local associations during 2016, according to an announcement last week at the NAR RPAC Awards Ceremony in Washington, D.C.

The “Award of Excellence” came for raising $62,138 in 2016, achieving a 77 percent participation rate with more than 6 percent of its members (41) as major investors, said CAR CEO Dan Sale. CAR had a first place in 2015 and a second place in 2014. NAR began the program three years ago.

“These numbers illustrate that we have really begun to develop a culture of RPAC giving,” said Sale. “We certainly appreciate the recognition as it validates all of our hard work and serves as a source of pride for our volunteers, staff and members. However, the real satisfaction comes seeing the impact we are all collectively able to make at city hall, the state capital and Washington, D.C.”

The Capital Area REALTORS® were represented at the ceremony by President John Klemm, President-elect Ed Mahoney, Government Affairs Chairman Phil Chiles and Sale. Also recognized at the ceremony were first, second and third place award winners for different size local and state associations.

(The REALTORS® Political Action Committee (RPAC) solicits contributions from Illinois REALTORS® members only.)

ROTYs from Skokie, Peoria and Quad City areas honored at June 6 banquet, too

Among the 24 local REALTORS® who’ll be honored at the 36th Annual REALTOR® of the Year Banquet will be Rebekah Carlson, Michelle Largent and Regen Johnson.

Sue Miller

The event will attract members from all over the state to the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Museum in Springfield on June 6. The guest of honor will be Illinois REALTOR® of the Year Sue Miller, managing broker for Coldwell Banker The Real Estate Group, in McHenry. The reception begins at 6:30 p.m., followed by dinner at 7:15 p.m. The deadline for ordering tickets is May 30. Tickets are $75 each.

Place your order online or use the ticket order form now.

Here are some details about the three local winners mentioned above:

Rebekah Carlson of Next Realty, LLC in Skokie will represent the Northern Illinois Commercial Association of REALTORS® (NICAR). Carlson is the NICAR secretary and a member of the International Council of Shopping Centers. She’s a founding member for Save-A-Pet’s Real Estate to the Rescue Golf Outing, which raised $30,000 for a no-kill shelter in 2016.

Michelle Largent of RE/MAX Traders Unlimited in Peoria is the ROTY for the Peoria Area Association of REALTORS®. A past member of the Peoria Area’s board of directors, she’s also worked on many committees and volunteered for the Germantown Hills Village Board and Girl Scouts. An RPAC Major Investor, she supports the South Side Mission and Big Brothers and Big Sisters.

Regen Johnson of Ruhl & Ruhl REALTORS® in Davenport, Iowa will represent the Quad City Area REALTOR® Association. She has served on numerous committees for the local association. She’s a member of the board of directors and the 2017 secretary/treasurer. In the community, she volunteers with the Junior League, Habitat for Humanity, Junior Achievement and local schools. She also serves as a mentor to new agents.

The Illinois REALTORS® ROTY banquet is jointly sponsored by the Illinois REALTORS® and the Illinois Real Estate Educational Foundation (REEF).

(This is the sixth in a series of stories highlighting local REALTORS® of the Year and the Illinois REALTOR® of the Year. Read the first, second, third, fourth and fifth stories.)