Capitol Connection – March 9, 2018
Senate Bill 18-109: Authorize Audio-Video Communication Notarial Acts
SB18-109, sponsored by Senator Gardner (R-Colorado Springs), Representative Garnett (D-Denver), and Representative Wist (R-Centennial) allows notaries public to perform notarial acts using audio-visual communication. The process is called remote notarization and it’s similar to a skype or face-time type of interaction where there is audio and video communication between the notary and the person having a document notarized. Under current regulations, an individual must physically appear before a notary public to have a document notarized. This bill would allow notaries to be able to perform a remote notarization. SB18-109 establishes several requirements a notary must comply with, such as rules and standards about the necessary evidence to identify the individual seeking remote notarization and how that process of identification should take place. The legislation also prohibits using the process for certain types of documents such as election issue or candidate petitions and some of the wills and trust documents common in probate proceedings.
On Monday, the bill was amended in the Senate Committee on Business, Labor, and Technology. The adopted amendment does two things: 1) it requires the presentation and credential analysis of a government-issued identification that includes a signature and a photo of the person seeking notarization and 2) it requires a notary to create an audio-video recording of the remote notarization. On Thursday the legislation, as amended, also passed out unanimously of the Senate Finance Committee and will now be heard in the Senate Appropriations Committee.
The Colorado Association of REALTORS® (CAR) Legislative Policy Committee (LPC) opposes this legislation in its current form. Over the summer, a series of stakeholder meetings regarding remote notarization legislation occurred. As introduced, SB18-109 does not reflect the consensus stakeholder input from these meetings. Some concerns about the current draft include potentially problematic bill language that would allow organizations providing the notarization to collect and sell that data collected during the identification process. This could lead to data security problems; especially this legislative session when several bills aimed at protecting data privacy and personal identifying information for consumers are under review by the legislature. CAR will be tracking this legislation and update our members as it goes through the process.
Senate Bill 18-010: Residential Lease Copy and Rent Receipt
SB18-010, sponsored by Senator Martinez Humenik (R-Thornton), Senator Williams (D-Denver), and Representative Exum (D-Colorado Springs), requires that a landlord provide a tenant with a copy of a signed rental agreement within seven days. This bill also requires a landlord to provide a receipt for rent payments. The landlord may provide these documents electronically unless the tenant specifically requests a paper copy.
The LPC supports this legislation because it is a good business practice to adopt. The practice gives a signer of a contract a copy of their agreement and a paying customer a record of their financial transaction. Moreover, many landlords are already providing this service, so it is not an unduly burdensome requirement for businesses. SB18-010 passed out of the House of Representatives this morning and will be sent to the Governor for his consideration.
Limited Growth Ballot Initiative Update
This November, Colorado voters will have the opportunity to vote on many different ballot initiatives. One of the most potentially devastating to the future of Colorado’s economy and the supply of affordable housing is proposed Ballot Initiative #66 (Limited Growth). Colorado’s economy has grown rapidly in recent years fueled by a strong job market and an enviable quality of life that defines the Colorado experience. This potential statewide ballot initiative proposes placing arbitrary limits on growth that could cripple future economic prosperity and create new growth burdens on the already low inventory of housing available to Colorado consumers.
The proposed ballot initiative would:
- Limit new permits for the total number of all housing units in each of the 10 most populous Front Range counties to 1% in both 2019 and 2020.
- Allow every Colorado City, Town, or County statewide to vote for housing growth moratoriums.
- Prohibit permits between the election of November 2018 and January 1, 2019.
- The measure cannot be amended or repealed until November of 2021 if it passes.
The Colorado Association of REALTORS® (CAR) believes arbitrarily limiting growth in this manner would severely impact the Colorado housing market, which is already constrained by low inventory. And we cannot increase affordability by decreasing the supply of housing. The supply of affordable housing is a vital component to a regional economy. The availability of affordable housing is critical to retaining a skilled workforce, keeping local business competitive, and reducing urban sprawl. It also gives young people the chance to purchase rather than rent, allowing them to begin building valuable home equity.
Businesses also need to be able to continue to attract and retain talented workers that can afford to live and thrive in the communities where they work. A lack of affordable housing near employment centers pushes workers farther from their jobs, forces them to commute longer distances, puts undue strain on local roadways and public transportation, and discourages workers and their employers from locating in Colorado.
The proposed initiative survived its legal challenges and is now green-lighted to gather signatures to try to get onto the ballot in November. Please think critically when you see petition signature gathers out there because this ballot initiative would reduce the supply of housing and make it even harder for young and working families to buy a home in Colorado. CAR will keep you updated on the ballot initiative as we work to defeat this bad public policy idea for Colorado.
Colorado Flood and Wildfire Awareness Week
Governor Hickenlooper proclaimed this week (March 4 – March 10) as Colorado Flood Safety and Wildfire Awareness Week. Today is specifically Wildfire Safety and Mitigation Day. On average, 2,500 wildfires occur across Colorado each year. Since 2012, 8 people have been killed when fires occurred in the wildland-urban interface.
The Colorado Association of REALTORS® developed Colorado Project Wildfire to help reduce the destruction of land, property, and lives. Working in partnership with other like-minded fire prevention organizations across the state, local REALTOR® associations are bringing education and awareness, as well as access to resources, directly to residents in their local communities. To learn more about Colorado Project Wildfire, click here.
CALLING ALL RPAC MAJOR INVESTORS! Enter to win a $500 Southwest Airlines Gift Card!
If you invest at least $300 or 30% of your 2018 Major Investment by April 13th with a pledge to complete your 2018 Major Investment by CAR’s Fall Forum, you will be entered to win a $500 Southwest Airlines Gift Card! The winner will be announced during RPAC Drinking for Diamonds at CAR’s Spring Summit on April 25th! You do not have to be present to win. The Major Investor levels start at $1,000 a year! Investing in RPAC is one of the easiest things you can do to protect your business!
Reminder: To be entered, you must invest at least $300 of your Major Investment by April 13th and pledge to complete your Major Investment before CAR’s Fall Forum. To make a one-time investment, click here! To set up a recurring payment plan, click here! Please share this drawing with any potential RPAC Major Investors! If you have already made your 2018 Major Investment, thank you! You are already entered in the drawing! Please contact Cameron (firstname.lastname@example.org) if you have any questions.
Upcoming Events: NAR Midyear Legislative Meetings (May 14-19, 2018)
The REALTORS® Legislative Meetings & Trade Expo is where NAR members take an active role to advance the real estate industry, public policy, and the association. REALTORS® come to Washington, DC, for special issues forums, committee meetings, legislative activities, and the industry trade show. Registration is now open. Click here for more information.
This year, NAR has held the REALTOR® Legislative Meetings schedule from 2:00PM to 4:30PM on Wednesday, May 16th to allow time for Capitol Hill Visits. For Colorado, we have 9 Members of Congress visits to complete on Capitol Hill. While we will try to schedule as many meetings as possible during this NAR designated time frame, we will not be able to fit all of these meetings into this window. As we approach May, CAR Staff will be in contact with attendees regarding our hill visits meeting schedule for your constituent meetings with your Members of Congress.
Sign up for REALTOR® Party Mobile Alerts
More than 50,000 REALTORS® from across the country have already signed up for REALTOR® Party Mobile Alerts – have you? Text CO REALTORS to 30644 to stay up to date on REALTOR® issues! You’ll be among the first to know about NAR Calls for Action and more! Click here for more information.
Invest in RPAC
The purpose of RPAC is to support candidates that support REALTORS®. Our goal is to elect pro-REALTOR® candidates at the local, state, and federal levels – candidates that share our support for homeownership, protect property rights, and who will listen to our concerns. Investing in RPAC is one of the easiest things you can do to protect your business. Our goal in 2018 is to raise $630,000 to continue to support Colorado’s REALTOR® champions and ensure we achieve the policy outcomes necessary to protect property rights. Click here to invest today!