Seeking to provide additional protections for military personnel who are called to relocate in the course of their active duty, State Representative Steve Reick (R-Woodstock) approved legislation today that would allow servicemen and women to terminate or suspend certain contractual services without penalty. HB 2449, which passed unanimously on the House floor, was Representative Rick’s first approved bill as an Illinois lawmaker.
Specifically, HB 2449 provides that any service member, at any time after receiving military orders to relocate for a period of service of at least 90 days, may terminate or suspend contracts for Internet services, television and cable services, athletic club or gym memberships or satellite radio services. Notice of the intent to terminate or suspend a contract may be delivered in writing or by email, and is effective on the day notice is given.
“The existing Illinois Service Member Civil Relief Act provides protections for deployed military personnel in areas such as insurance policies, cell phone contracts, car leases and rent, but over time gaps in the coverage were discovered,” said Reick. “This bill simply ensures our military personnel will not be penalized financially for payment lapses associated with contracts not included in the original Act.”
The bill also provides that a returning member of the military may reinstate the original provisions of contracts upon the completion of their service in the armed forces.
The bill was amended prior to passage to add language which provided the Attorney General with tools for enforcement of the bill’s provisions. The amendatory language states that a violation of the Act constitutes an unlawful practice under the Consumer Fraud and Deceptive Business Practices Act.
“When our brave citizens answer the call to serve their country, they do so with an understanding that they may be called to relocate for extended periods of time,” Reick said. “I’m pleased to advance legislation that strengthens the protective measures that relate to their service contracts.”
HB 2449 received unanimous committee approval in March before the House Cybersecurity, Data Analytics and I.T. Committee, and it will now be forwarded to the Senate for consideration.