Affordable Housing: No Oversight, No Progress
Originally passed in 2003, the Illinois Affordable Housing Planning and Appeal Act (AHPAA) requires cities with populations of at least 1,000 residents and less than ten percent affordable housing to submit their affordable housing plans to the state. Gail Schechter sits on the Illinois Housing Appeals Board, but she has never heard a case. The board was brought together in 2009 and fully appointed by Governor Pat Quinn in 2012 to provide checks and balances while Illinois communities create affordable housing. Affordable housing developers who believe they have been treated unfairly or rejected by a municipality are given a chance to appeal a city’s decision to reject their project. However, developers are not utilizing the appeals process. According to Schechter via WBEZ, “a developer just wants to do business. If they can’t build what they want to build, they’ll go to another community.”
Stablecoins III: The Stablecoin TRUST Act of 2022
On Wednesday, April 6, 2022, Senator Pat Toomey of Virginia released a discussion draft of the Stablecoin Transparency of Reserves and Uniform Safe Transactions Act of 2022, also known as the Stablecoin TRUST Act (“the TRUST Act”). This new legislation, introduced in the United States Senate, aims to create a three-pronged regulatory framework for the issuers of stablecoins in the United States. Like similar bills on the topic of stablecoin, such as the Stablecoin Innovation and Protection Act of 2022, the bill is short at only fourteen pages long. Where the bills differ is immediately noted in the more robust definitions section of the TRUST Act which lays out a six-part definition of “payment stablecoins” that covers the design intent of a stablecoin, who can issue a stablecoin, whether the holder can inherently earn interest, and where the stablecoin transactions are recorded.
Stablecoins II: The Stablecoin Innovation and Protection Act of 2022
On Tuesday, February 15, 2022, Congressman Josh Gottheimer released a draft of the Stablecoin Innovation and Protection Act of 2022 (“the bill”). This legislation attempts to both define stablecoins as well as provide a legal framework in which the issuers and users of stablecoins can safely and legally operate. The bill is surprisingly brief, only nine pages long, but Gottheimer claims that it will provide greater direction and certainty to the marketplace in order to boost innovation while also protecting consumers.
Stablecoins: Tying Cryptocurrencies to Other Assets
Cryptocurrency has an air of mystery about it. It seemingly burst onto the scene a decade ago, and while some of the stories about it may seem outlandish, many of them are true. The first known Bitcoin purchase was for two pizzas and prices can fluctuate wildly based off of tweets. With the origins of such a thing being the subject of internet humor and its value being so volatile, what level of attention and care is due to it?
Nuclear Energy: Safety and Viability
The United States currently stands ready to make energy decisions that will impact every U.S. citizen alive today and generations moving forward. President Joe Biden committed to fighting climate change in his campaign for President and has continued in this vein by making goals to halve U.S. carbon emissions by 2030 and further, to create a net-zero carbon economy by 2050. The key to this plan is the not-so-simple issue of electricity generation.
Let’s Build Better Sooner Rather Than Later
“A building is only built once.”
So writes Ellen Vaughan, Policy Director at the Environmental and Energy Study Institute (“EESI”), and Jim Turner, former Chief Counsel at the EESI. The consequences of new construction can last for the entire life of that building and beyond. Just how and with what materials a building is constructed impacts energy, environment, resilience, and safety as well as cost effectiveness, functionality, accessibility, productivity, and overall sustainability. The how of building is an incredibly important part of the life of residential and commercial builds which can only be affected prior to the start of the entire process.
Illinois Energy Code Compliance: A Lost Cause?
The International Code Council (ICC) originally adopted the International Energy Conservation Code (IECC) in 2000. The 2021 IECC addresses energy efficiency on several fronts including cost, energy usage, use of natural resources, and the impact of energy usage on the environment. As of June 2019, Illinois has adopted a statewide commercial and residential building code based off the 2018 IECC. This Illinois Energy Conservation Code (Illinois Energy Code) was implemented with the belief that buildings built in compliance with these energy performance standards would see annual energy costs reduced by approximately thirty percent.