Capitol Connection: February 13, 2015
SOLD OUT! REALTOR® Day at the Capitol: Tuesday, February 17th
2015 REALTOR® Day at the Capitol is SOLD OUT. We will be having no on-site registration for this event. For our attendees, we are looking forward to seeing you Tuesday morning. We will begin with an optional morning program where you can observe the House or Senate floorwork at 9AM. Lunch will begin promptly at 11:30AM with our Keynote being delivered by Special Guest U.S. Senator Cory Gardner. The afternoon program will take place in the Old Supreme Court Chambers of the Capitol with visits from Governor Hickenlooper and caucus leadership from both the House and Senate. For more details on the day’s activities, please click here.
SB 177 Construction Defects Reform
The LPC voted to SUPPORT SB15-177, HOA Construction Defect Lawsuit Approval Timelines by Senators Scheffel and Ulibarri and Representatives DelGrosso and Singer, which was introduced this past Tuesday. Colorado’s economy is dependent on a strong housing market that includes diverse and attainable options. Despite strong demand, communities across Colorado face a growing shortage of one of the most critical options- owner-occupied, multi-family housing. Condo and townhome construction has effectively ground to a halt due in part to concerns among builders about the growing number of lawsuits over construction issues.
Today, condos represent just 3.1 percent of new housing starts, compared to nearly 23 percent in 2007. Because of this, would-be first-time homebuyers have significantly fewer options and are increasingly being forced into the skyrocketing rental market. The lack of owner-occupied, multi-family options also leaves behind seniors who are looking to downsize from single-family homes.
Senate Bill 177, as drafted would:
- Establish Alternative Dispute Resolution as the preferred pathway to resolution of construction issues
- Require a majority vote of all association homeowners before legal action can go forward
- Require all homeowners in an HOA receive a notice including the estimated costs of entering litigation to the association and the homeowner individually, the nature of the proposed litigation and relief sought, and the expected impact on home values both included and not included in the litigation
CAR is a member of the Homeownership Opportunity Alliance (HOA), a coalition of local elected officials and business groups throughout the state that is looking for reasonable reform to help relieve our condo and townhome market. Please keep an eye out for a Call-for-Action CAR will be releasing on Monday to contact your legislators and ask them to join us in supporting Senate Bill 177.
SB 140 Home Inspector Licensing Killed in Committee
Senate Bill 140 was postponed indefinitely in the Senate Business, Labor and Technology Committee this week on a party-line vote. CAR supported this bill, and we still believe that Home Inspectors should be licensed. In 2014, the Division of Regulatory Agencies (DORA) conducted a Sunrise Review of the Home Inspector profession and determined the need for licensure. Through the Sunrise Report, many issues were brought to light in this profession, including the need for a standard of practice and a public safety concern with the access this profession has to a home. The American Society of Home Inspectors (ASHI), National Association of Home Inspectors (NAHI), and The International Association of Certified Home Inspectors (Inter-NACHI) were all key stakeholders in this process, and CAR was part of discussions as well to make sure our members and clients were protected through this bill.
The Sunrise Report noted many instances where home inspectors did not always have the expertise, but still offered their opinions on matters that negatively impacted transactions. Our hope was that through requirements for pre-education and continuing education, there will be a more uniform standard of competency by which all home inspectors practice, and their clients, who require accurate information to make good investment decisions, will be better served.
Though our efforts were unsuccessful this year, we are grateful for the work Senator Nancy Todd put into this legislation, as well as all three of the home inspector organizations, and we look forward to continuing our efforts moving into next year.
NAR Policy Conference
Each year, the National Association of REALTORS® hosts a Policy Conference to discuss key issues they will be working on in D.C. as well as across the country. Please click here for NAR’s key 2015 Federal Issues.
Transit Alliance Spring 2015 Citizen’s Academy
The Transit Alliance is hosting their annual spring 2015 Citizen’s Academy from April 1, 2015-May 16, 2015. This is a great opportunity to discuss transportation, community development, and sustainability in Colorado. The class is limited, so please get your applications in to take part! More information, as well as the application, can be found here, and the deadline for applying is Friday, March 13th at 5PM.
Over the next few weeks, we will be introducing you to the New Legislators in the 70th General Assembly.
Jack Tate, Republican, represents House District 37. He and his family live in Centennial. Representative Tate has worked in the private sector for over twenty years with experience in project construction and financial management. He has been appointed to the Business Affairs and Labor Committee and the State, Veterans and Military Affairs Committee.
Dan Thurlow, Republican, is from House District 55 and lives in Grand Junction. He owns the Colorado Printing Company and his hobbies include piloting a small private plane. Representative Thurlow is a member of the Business Affairs and Labor Committee and the State, Veterans and Military Affairs Committees.
Kevin Van Winkle, Republican, hails from House District 43 and lives with his wife in Highlands Ranch. He is a small business owner and is the former Senior Policy Analyst for the Colorado Senate Republicans. He serves on the Finance Committee and the Judiciary Committee.
Yeulin Willett, Republican, represents House District 54. He was raised in Delta and continues to live there with his wife. He is a lawyer and former Chairman of the Alternative Dispute Resolution Committee. He is a member of the Judiciary Committee and the State, Veterans and Military Affairs Committee.
JoAnn Windholz, Republican, serves House District 30. She and her husband live in Reunion and they have eight grandchildren. Representative WIndholz is a professional fundraiser and small business owner. She is on the Education Committee and the Public Health Care and Human Services Committee.
Faith Winter, Democrat, is from House District 35. She, her husband and child live in Westminster. She has previously worked for Colorado Conservation Voters, Inland Temporary Homes and is most recently a former Westminster City Councilwoman. Representative Winter is a fifth generation Coloradan. She serves on the Appropriations Committee, Business Affairs and Labor Committee, and the Transportation and Energy Committee.