Legislative

End of Session Summary

Submitted by Industry Issues Chairman Errol Champion

The past four months have been busy with issues on the AAR agenda adopted last January at the start of the session.  During the following weeks, several other issues were added and thus it is time to provide you with a recap.

At the January meeting, the following topics were adapted for our agenda.

HB32 & HB 60 were passed by the legislature and have or will be sent to the Governor.  Governor Parnell signed HB 60 on April 22nd.

Also on the agenda was HB 187 which was introduced last year and focused on professions license fees, investigation costs and the cyclic nature of the budgets with several state boards and commissions.  This legislation was intercepted by the Legislative Audit & Budget Committee, a standing Legislative Committee, chaired by Senator Fairclough.  She is committed to working on this legislation between now and the start of the 29th Legislature which convenes in January 2015.  We will be following these meeting schedules and are prepared to provide input as needed.

After months of discussions, the decision was made to update the out of date Landlords Tenant statute. Rep. Doug Isaacson introduced the first draft of HB 282 in February.  After many committee hearings and numerous re-writes, the legislation was passed and is scheduled to be signed on June 4th in Fairbanks at the general meeting of the Fairbanks Board of Realtors.

The Knik Arm Bridge has been before the legislature many times over the past decade and that was true again this session.  HB 23 was finally passed out of both houses in the remaining hours of the extended session.  HB 23 actually went to a conference committee to resolve a few issues and clarify the role and responsibility of the State in the funding process.  While there is a lot of work to be accomplished before KABATA is a project bid ready, the Legislature took a big step in making that project become a reality.

We were ask by the NAR to review Alaska’s Eminent Domain statute and policy as a result of several local and/or regional governments in some states exercising eminent domain to take ownership of distressed property with non-performing mortgages.  The local governments would in turn, sell these properties and keep the proceeds to help fund deficit budgets.  We have reviewed Alaska’s recently updated law and our lobbyists advise that local governments are precluded from using our eminent domain statutes for the taking of REO property.

I am please to have Dave Somers continue as our liaison to the Alaska Real Estate Commission.  His knowledge of the workings of the ARC is extremely valuable and keeps the lines of communications in good shape.  And, Dave reported the first draft of the revised AREC pamphlet is out for review and comments.  The revisions to the AREC have bee discussed for some time and we now have a chance to comment on the draft of the proposed revision.

Finally, the Board will be ask shortly to review and adopt two important papers that will give this committee better guidance and a process for vetting issues and topics.   This “White Paper” describes and defines the process to be followed for getting items on the Issues Committee agenda.  The second item is the discussion and adoption of the procedure or compliance code to be followed when speaking and/or representing the official position of the AAR on issues.   Suellen Appellof, April Frick and Glenda Feeken worked diligently on completing the final drafts of these two papers for presentation to the BOD.

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Contact Information

The Alaska Association of Realtors®

4205 Minnesota Drive

Anchorage, Alaska 99503

Phone (907) 563-7133

Fax (907) 561-1779

1-800-478-3763

joinus@alaskarealtors.com