Brought to you by the CALIFORNIA ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS®
Welcome to another edition of C.A.R.’s Networker. Please feel free to share its contents with your colleagues.
C.A.R. members gather on the Capitol lawn
C.A.R. Legislative Day Wrap-Up
On Wednesday, June 3rd, C.A.R. hosted its annual Legislative Day, where REALTORS® from across the state come to Sacramento to hear from the state’s political leaders and to lobby their state legislators on behalf of the real estate industry.
This year nearly 2,000 REALTORS® heard from California Attorney General Jerry Brown and State Senator George Runner. Both were informative, engaging and entertaining.
State Attorney General Jerry Brown addresses
Legislative Day attendees — June 3, 2009
The core mission of Legislative Day is to successfully persuade legislators to vote yes or no on specific legislation. This year we had some early victories. Sometimes the mere threat of 2,000 REALTORS® lobbying against a bill in person is a great incentive for the legislation’s author to work with C.A.R.
Initially, C.A.R. had planned to include the OPPOSITION of SB 407 (Padilla) as one of its “Hot Issues.” “Hot Issues” are the three or four pieces of legislation that are chosen for REALTORS® to discuss with legislators on Legislative Day. C.A.R. was opposing SB 407, because it required that all properties be retrofitted at point-of-sale with low-flow showerheads and faucets and low-flush toilets. C.A.R. was troubled by SB 407 because it would not have achieved the objective of significantly reducing water consumption and because it would have further destabilized the already weak housing market. The day BEFORE Legislative Day, the author of SB 407 committed to amending the bill to remove the point-of-sale provision and otherwise improve the bill. Based on the author’s commitment, C.A.R. removed SB 407 from its Hot Issues.
C.A.R. had also planned to include AB 603 (Skinner), which C.A.R. OPPOSED. AB 603 would have prohibited anyone who acquires foreclosed rental property from terminating a tenancy unless the new owner has owned the property for a minimum of one year or can demonstrate a “just cause” (for example, non-payment of rent) for the eviction. Again, the day BEFORE Legislative Day, AB 603 was amended to conform to federal law which requires an owner of a rental property who acquires it through foreclosure to give tenants a 90-day notice before terminating a tenancy if the tenant is on a month-to-month lease. If the tenant has a fixed lease and there’s more than 90 days left on the term, then the tenant may stay until the end of the lease. If the new owner wishes to reside in the residence, then the 90-day notice requirement applies in all cases. Since this is already federal law and cannot be changed by state law, C.A.R. removed AB 603 from its Hot Issues.
In the end, C.A.R. included two bills on the final “Hot Issues” page distributed at Legislative Day. C.A.R. is OPPOSING AB 985 (De La Torre) which requires that, at point-of-sale, title insurance companies remove all evidence of restrictive covenants in the chain of title before the escrow. Existing law already invalidates these discriminatory restrictions and makes them unenforceable. While C.A.R. feels that AB 985 is well intentioned, it is unnecessary, costly and could potential derail time-sensitive transactions.
AB 827 (Yamada) was also included as a Hot Issue. C.A.R. is OPPOSING AB 827, which allows counties to impose an additional per page recording “fee” of up to $3 for the first page of a document and $1 each for the remaining pages for the archiving of historical documents. This “fee” is really a tax because the charge doesn’t directly pay for the RECORDING of documents as required by state law. All local taxes must be approved by the voters. C.A.R. is opposing AB 827 because it attempts to circumvent the voters’ right to approve local taxes.
C.A.R. will keep you informed of the outcome of AB 985 and AB 827. Thank you to all the REALTORS(r) who attended Legislative Day and made is such a great success! We hope all our Legislative Liaisons have the opportunity to attend next year.
For more information about C.A.R.’s Legislative Liaison program, please contact DeAnn Kerr at [email protected]