Following-up on our initial coverage from late last month, the Tribune reported today that House Speaker Michael Madigan (D-Chicago) is serious about pursuing legislation that would place a $1,000 fee on any foreclosure sale in Illinois and funnel those proceeds into mediation programs. Modeled after a recent ordinance in Cook County, such a law would likely have generated about $40 million to bolster mediation programs last year, according to Business and Professional People for the Public Interest. As one housing advocate pointed out at a rally of Chicago community organizations this morning, "It's just pennies for the banks."
Even with Madigan's support, passage is not assured, in part because of the strength of the banking lobby in Springfield. But those lawmakers that decide to push the measure will find themselves with plenty of grassroots support. Check out some footage from the protest today outside the downtown Thompson Center, which featured State Sen. Jacqueline Collins (D-Chicago) and State Rep. Andre Thapedi (D-Chicago):