Capitol Connection – June 5, 2020
|Government Affairs Update|
CAR Advocates for Colorado REALTORS®
The legislative session is back on and rolling quickly with fast moving Covid-19 relief packages coming to the table for discussion. We expect the pace to continue at a high speed as our state legislators even plan to work over the weekend.
Over the past week, CAR’s Government Affairs Division testified on the following bills:
- HB-1332 Prohibit Housing Discrimination Source Of Income (LPC Position: Amend) – Amends Colorado’s Fair Housing laws to include discrimination based on source of income as a type of unfair housing practice. “Source of income” is defined to include any source of money paid directly, indirectly, or on behalf of a person, including income from any lawful profession or from any government or private assistance, grant, or loan program.
CAR continues to work with the bill sponsors and will testify to amend the bill to be consistent with the landlord tenant laws that the General Assembly passed last year and is now current Colorado statute. Last year this General Assembly vigorously negotiated, approved and signed into law language in HB19-1118 that an “exempt residential agreement” means a residential agreement leasing a single-family home by a landlord who owns five or fewer single family rental homes…”
Status: The bill will be heard in the House Finance Committee tomorrow where CAR will share our concerns on consistency with current statute, issues related to HUD policies, and landlords’ ability to perform credit checks on potential tenants.
- HB-1410 COVID-19-related Housing Assistance (LPC Position: Support) – Allocates 19 million federal CARES Act dollars to keep people in their homes whether they rent or own a mortgage. This afternoon, CAR testified that this financial assistance will help some of our most vulnerable Coloradans who do not have four walls, it will help our housing providers in our housing market economy so that we preserve and increase the amount of affordable housing available to Coloradans, and it will help the Coloradans who are in danger of losing their homes or their apartments due to lost income.
Additionally, the threshold of 100% AMI means that it will reach into our middle class essential civil servants who are out there on the frontlines for the rest of us during this pandemic. Moreover, as the federal government continues to work to address the significant problem of mortgage servicers having enough cash reserves to cover the mortgage forbearances allowed under the CARES Act, legislation such as this is critical to help shore up Coloradans’ abilities to stay in their homes and make mortgage payments because it will stave off a large foreclosure crisis.
Status: This afternoon the bill passed out of the House State, Veterans, and Military Affairs Committee and will next go to the House Appropriations Committee.
- SB-207 Unemployment Insurance (LPC Position: Amend) – Amends the Colorado Employment Security Act to codify current practices, address public health emergencies, and to increase the amount a person can earn while receiving benefits. The bill also requires a study of unemployment assistance to be completed.
On Tuesday, CAR expressed serious concerns with SB-207 as introduced and even potentially with amendments. The legislation would have conflicted with federal laws that specifically exempt real estate agents based on the way that their businesses are structured in federal tax codes. CAR asked that the bill sponsors amend the bill so that we do not place over 44,000 real estate licensees in jeopardy and that we do not limit the supply of affordable housing accessed through real estate agents.
Status: The bill was amended in the Senate Finance Committee earlier this week and is scheduled for hearing in the Senate Appropriations Committee tomorrow.
Bills that continue to move forward:
- HB-1200 Sunset Homeowners’ Association Information And Resource Center (LPC Position: Monitor) Continues the HOA Information and Resource Center for 5 years, until 2025. On Wednesday, in the House Business Affairs and Labor Committee, the requirement to participate in administrative dispute resolution would have cost consumers millions of dollars and therefore, was removed from the bill and referred to the House Finance Committee.
Status: Yesterday, the House Finance Committee passed the bill unamended on an 8-3 vote and have referred the bill to the House Appropriations Committee.
- SB-096 Remote Notaries Protect Privacy (LPC Position: Support) – Allows a notary public to perform a remote notary using a real-time audio-video communication system that conforms to standards established by rules of the Secretary of State and protects consumer data meaningfully.
Status: The bill was heard on Second Reading in the House yesterday morning and passed with amendments. Today, we await for the bill to be voted upon on Third Reading in the House, and if passed will next be prepared for the Governor’s signature.
Sign-up to Participate in Candidate Interviews!
When: Tuesday, June 16 (10-11 a.m.)
The REALTOR® Party actively promotes the election of candidates who understand the vital role real estate plays in our economy, and who uphold and advance private property rights. The REALTOR® party speaks with one voice to advance candidates and public policies that build strong communities and promote a vibrant business environment.
Identifying REALTOR® Champions is a duty not to be taken lightly. CAR has developed a course to prepare you with the tools necessary to best conduct candidate interviews and evaluate campaign strategies on behalf of CAR. This course will prepare you with the knowledge of relevant real estate industry issues and CAR’s standing positions on policies. Upon completion of the course, you will be deemed a designated representative of your local association and called upon by CAR to conduct candidate interviews within your district.
Sign up today to represent your local association and community in the state’s candidate interview process.