Welcome to a new year and for those who follow the legislative process, January 21, 2014 marks the start of the second session of the 28th legislature. The 90 day session is scheduled to end on April 20, 2014.
Before commenting on the key issues for the Alaska Association of REALTORS® this year, please allow me to recap several points that will be foremost in everyone’s mind.
Alaska is in an era of slumping revenues and we have a huge inventory of projects people would like to see funded. Discussions of these projects will create lengthy debates and consume a lot of every lawmakers time. Here are just a few of the major topics up for consideration:
- Public Employees Retirement Liability
- Anchorage Port Reconstruction
- The large diameter natural gas line
- Numerous hydro projects located around the State
- Knik Arm bridge crossing
- UAA and UAF capital projects
We are very likely to see strong differences of opinion between urban and rural members on these and many other issues.
Therefore our time with them in February must be precise and to the point on the issues we are addressing. We have scheduled our annual AAR Legislative Summit in Juneau on February 19-20, 2014. Our lobbyist suggested we make the visit to the Legislature in February rather than March. This makes a lot of sense and will give us the opportunity to discuss our issues much earlier in the session. This year the Industry Issues Key Work Group will be reviewing the following issues that affect the real estate industry.
- HB187 – Occupational Licensing Fee – sponsored by Rep Kurt Olsen [carry over}
- HB60 – Real Property Transfer on Death Act – sponsored by Max Gruenberg [carry over]
- Tenant/ Landlord rewrite
- Review of NAR policy on Eminent Domain by local governments on REO properties
- HB32 – Provide issuance of one business license for multiple trades, services & professions
Please contact Sandy Eherenman or myself if there are additional subjects that should be addressed this year.
Submitted by Errol Champion, Industry Issues Chairman