Rep. Unes discussing the importance of HB 4317 on the House floor
before receiving unanimous approval by the House of Representatives
The Illinois House of Representatives approved legislation sponsored by State Representative Mike Unes (R-East Peoria) today to ensure families of servicemembers do not face additional burdens after losing their loved one in service to our country. The legislation (HB 4317) will allow families to terminate their lease without penalty when their loved one is killed in action.
Rep. Mike Unes learned of this issue from Kylie Riney, the widow of fallen soldier Sgt. Douglas Riney. She and her two young children needed to move back to Illinois from Texas after her husband was killed in action but the landlord required her to pay penalties for early termination of the lease.
According to Rep. Unes, “I don’t want to see what happened to the Riney family ever happen to a Gold Star family in Illinois. Even though the issue regarding the termination of their lease did not occur in our state, my bill will ensure what happened to the Riney family out of state will not happen to Gold Star families stationed in Illinois.”
Under current law, families are permitted to terminate a residential lease without penalty when a servicemember is deployed. However, it does not allow for the same option when a servicemember is killed in action, causing the family additional hardship.
Nearly 55,000 Illinois residents currently serve our country in the military, ranking Illinois 13th in the number of residents serving our nation. Not only do thousands of military members call Illinois home, so do their families. Oftentimes those families are required to move to an Illinois community to accommodate the servicemember’s assignment.
HB 4317 sponsored by Rep. Unes has been sent to the Senate for consideration.