sb 3694SPRINGFIELD — For seniors and those with limited mobility, an elevator outage is more than an inconvenience — it is a significant barrier that prevents them from participating in daily life. Recognizing the need for a balanced approach to safety and accessibility, State Senator Ann Gillespie advanced legislation that would allow elevators to remain operational during upgrades or repairs that address minor, non-safety-related deficiencies.

“Elevator safety is paramount, but a minor issue should not prevent someone from being able to access where they need to go,” said Gillespie (D-Arlington Heights). “This legislation reinstates a temporary certificate process — a solution that allows provisional elevator usage to ensure continued accessibility for those who need it.”

Senate Bill 3694 allows the State Fire Marshal to issue a temporary certificate permitting elevator usage during minor repairs or upgrades. These 30-day certificates would only be granted if the elevator does not pose a safety risk to those using or working on the elevator. For instance, if an elevator has a cosmetic imperfection or other minor deficiency that does not affect its functionality, the elevator could still operate while the issue is resolved.

Prior to March 2023, the state allowed temporary certificates for elevators undergoing upgrades or minor repairs. However, current regulations require full compliance before an elevator can be used, which can lead to extended periods where elevators are out of service. For individuals who rely on elevators — such as residents in high-rise buildings or those with mobility limitations — outages restrict their ability to access essential services. Gillespie’s legislation will reintroduce the temporary certification process to help minimize disruptions while ensuring continued accessibility and safety.

Senate Bill 3694 passed the Senate on Thursday and heads to the House for consideration.