The members of AAR who attended the Leadership Conference in Anchorage on January 5 & 6 held a working lunch to establish the preliminary agenda for 2015. The following are those items the committee will be addressing but anticipate other issues will be added as we start the First Session of the 29th Legislature on January 20, 2015. During the conference we received also received a thorough update from our lobbyist on the organization of the Legislature and an overview the budget issues.
Several recently adopted statutes need to be reviewed and adjusted to correct some specific issues.
The Transfer on Death Law (HB 60) must address the timing of filing and recording the TOD plus look at the issues that will arise from properties with active mortgages who receive a TOD quit claim deed. The Landlord Tennant Act must clarify certain definitions such as “Service Animals” and “Emotional Support Animals”. Other items include defining accepted tools for communication with tenants, definition of professional cleaning of carpets, justification for breaking leases and the affects of the newly adopted voter initiative on the use of cannabis. That issue alone will take years to incorporate into the Landlord Tenant Act based on the experiences so far in Colorado and Washington State.
Last year, SB 193 was adopted which required contractor licenses and bonding levels for even the smallest size jobs. This added expense gets passed on to the cost of housing and should have received closer scrutiny by our committee. We will be meeting with the sponsor on the bill and seek a return to the prior regulation language.
We are monitoring HB 12, a bill that did not pass last year. It has been reintroduced again this year by Rep Hughes. The bill deals with Mortgage Lending and Loan Originations. The bill contains similar language to the HB252 from the previous session. Other topics we are monitoring include mandating access for the public on private property near the Chugach State Park by the Anchorage Assembly, reinstatement of a brokers licenses after a lengthy period of time without a license and the disclosing of water well logs from private lots.
We are reviewing the list of pre-filed bills and will add those with specific language the affects real estate activities. You can view the list of pre filed bills on the State of Alaska web site under the Legislature tab. The first day of the session is January 20th and will end 90 days later on April 19th. AAR members will gather in Juneau on February 24th and 25th to make our annual contacts and interact with our statewide elected officials.
Submitted by Errol Champion, AAR Industry Issues Chairman