Legislative Update March 20

Update: 2017 Legislative Agenda for Mississippi REALTORS®

The Mississippi REALTORS® had an incredibly successful week with our legislation!

HB 1601, The First- Time Home Buyer Savings Account passed out of the Senate Finance Committee AND passed the Senate 51-1!

The bill has been sent to Governor Phil Bryant for approval and is due on March 22, 2017.

If the Governor signs the bill into law, Mississippi will be the fourth state to have a First-Time Home Buyer Savings Account program (Montana, Virginia, and Colorado).

We would not have been able to advance our number one priority this session without the help of several REALTORS®, legislators, and other trade associations. Thank you to the REALTORS® who contacted members of the Senate Finance Committee, responded to the Call for Action, and to Speaker Philip Gunn, Lieutenant Governor Tate Reeves, Ways and Means Chairman- Jeff Smith, and Finance Committee Chairman- Joey Fillingane for helping to make the dream of home ownership a reality.

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First-Time Home Buyer Savings Account – First-time home buyer savings accounts can be used for saving funds for the purchase of homes by first-time home buyers. Money in the account is required to be used solely for the down payment and closing costs for the purchase of a home by a first-time home buyer. The ability to produce a hefty down payment is often a major hurdle for first-time homebuyers, particularly young people who are grappling with massive student loan debt. The issue has become a critical concern for members of the real estate community, who have noticed a steady decline in the number of first-time and young home buyers in the market.

HB 1601* – Representative Jeff Smith – SENT TO THE GOVERNOR FOR APPROVAL.

SB 2439* – Senator Joey Fillingane  —  DEAD (The House bill was accepted).

Home Inspector Licensure Law – This legislation extends the repealer on the Home Inspector Licensure bill passed into law in 2013.

SB 2017 – Senator Rita Parks – Mississippi REALTORS® SUPPORT this legislation. This bill passed the Senate 51-0 and was referred to the House Banking and Financial Services Committee.  In the committee meeting, an amendment was offered to delete the repealer and the bill passed as amended.  The House of Representatives passed the bill 116-3 and the Senate concurred with the amendment from the House 52-0. SB 2017 WILL BE SENT TO THE GOVERNOR FOR APPROVAL.

Commercial Broker Lien Law – This legislation removes the repealer for the Commercial Real Estate Broker Lien Act passed into law in 2014.

SB 2425 – Senator Josh Harkins – Mississippi REALTORS® SUPPORT this legislation. This bill passed the Senate 51-0 and passed the House 115-4. SB 2425 was SENT TO THE GOVERNOR FOR APPROVAL.

HB 814Representative Jason White – DEAD (The House bill was accepted).

Civil Asset Forfeiture/Seizure – Mississippi REALTORS® support enhancement and protection of procedural due process for all Mississippians who are subjected to seizure of property.

HB 812 – Representative Mark Baker – Approved by the Governor.

REALTOR® License Plate – This legislation amends the language concerning the official Mississippi Association of REALTORS® license plate funds. The recipient of the funds shall be the Mississippi REALTORS® Disaster Relief Fund.

HB 694 – Representative Mark Formby – – Mississippi REALTORS® SUPPORT this legislation. This Bill passed out of the Senate Finance Committee. The Bill was amended to include several other license plates because it serves as a vehicle for other organizations to create or modify their respective license plates.  The Bill passed the Senate as amended and was returned to the House for concurrence.  The House declined to concur and the bill will go to conference.

SB 2157Senator Bob Dearing and Senator Hillman Frazier – This bill contains several license plates for different associations, including the REALTOR® license plate. The bill passed the Senate 51-0 and was transmitted to the House of Representatives.  SB 2157 passed out of the House 118-0 and is on the Senate Calendar for concurrence.

* A common practice for license plate legislation is to allow the bills to go to Conference so organizations may be added and all license plates may be included in one bill. 

Landlord-Tenant Law – The Mississippi REALTORS® consider any amendment to the Landlord Tenant Act and Residential Landlord Tenant Act to be of the highest priority and the Mississippi REALTORS® wish to monitor any proposed changes as they are considered.

HB 843 – Representative Chris Johnson – DEAD.

Tax Credits for Historic Structures – Mississippi REALTORS® support extending income tax credits for costs and expenses incurred for the rehabilitation of certain historic structures to include Single Family Dwellings.

HB 1587* – Representative Jeff Smith- DEAD.

SB 2938* – Senator Briggs Hopson– DEAD.

Infrastructure – The Mississippi REALTORS® recognize the need to increase funding for vital transportation infrastructure needs at the state and local level. To address the infrastructure needs of the state, the Mississippi REALTORS® support reasonable and responsible funding mechanisms to raise revenues necessary to address vital infrastructure needs.

HB 480Representative Trey Lamar – DEAD.

Currently, some Bond bills contain some specific infrastructure projects; however, a comprehensive infrastructure spending program is likely dead this session.

Tax on Services – Mississippi REALTORS® strongly oppose any tax on real estate services or commissions.

No bills or amendments to report at this point.

Other Item to Note

SB 2310Senator Rita Parks– This legislation prohibits registered Appraisal Management Companies from requiring a criminal background check as a condition of employment and to accept in lieu Thereof a new license or renewal issued by the Mississippi Real Estate Appraiser Licensing and Certification Board.  SB 2310 was referred to the House Judiciary B Committee.  In committee, a reverse repealer was added (which indicates the bill must go to conference for the law to pass), the bill was passed out of the Judiciary B Committee, but died on the House Calendar.

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As we approach the end of the session, please remember your thoughts and insights are always welcome. If you have an item that the Legislative and Regulatory Affairs Committee should consider, please contact a member of the committee, use the “Share Your Issues” feature on the MAR website, or contact MAR’s Governmental Affairs Director, Clarke Wise.

Mississippi Legislature website: http://www.legislature.ms.gov/Pages/default.aspx

Calendar with Legislative Deadlines: http://billstatus.ls.state.ms.us/htms/timetable.xml

All Measures Not Dead: http://billstatus.ls.state.ms.us/2017/pdf/all_measures/notdead.xml