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Legislation to open dealerships on Sundays stalls

April 5, 2019
Time has expired on Illinois Sen. Jim Oberweis’s sixth attempt to open the state’s dealerships to sales on Sundays, with the latest bill failing to move out of committee by March 22.
Senate Bill 22, which Oberweis, R-Sugar Grove, referred to as the Religious Equity Act, would have allowed for the sale of motor vehicles on any six days of the week chosen by the business owner, instead of on any day but Sunday, as the Illinois Vehicle Code currently allows.
The legislation was a repeat of last year’s Freedom to Choose Act, also introduced by Oberweis, which would have allowed dealerships the opportunity to be open on any six days of the week of their choice, including Sunday. Oberweis reasoned that if one dealership opened on Sundays, many others would follow. 
Sunday car sales have been banned in Illinois since 1984. Automobile dealers largely supported the ban when it was enacted because it gives them a chance to close one day a week, giving workers a day off and saving the business the cost of opening. The Chicago Automobile Trade Association still supports the Sunday ban.
Neither SB 22 nor any of Oberweis’s previous bills on the matter earned a vote in the Senate, but were given hearings instead.