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Sine Die!

Yesterday, May 8th, at approximately 4:00 PM, the final gavel came down on the first session of the 69th General Assembly. In total, 613 bills were introduced. CAR tracked 53 bills this year and took a position on 36 of them. Partisans on both sides of the aisle agree that this was a momentous session; however, the agreement ends there. Both sides are now busily spinning why 2013 was either one of the best, or worst, sessions in recent memory. For property owners, and REALTORS®, the 2013 session contained more positives than negatives.

CAR successfully passed our seller financing bill that exempts licensed brokers, working on behalf of exempted seller financiers, from having to be licensed Mortgage Loan Originators. We also worked with the time share association, ARDA, to pass meaningful regulations while ensuring that REALTORS® acting within the scope of their licenses would not become vulnerable to further deceptive trade practice claims. We were also able to halt a late attempt to require the disclosure of remediated homes in which meth was manufactured or used, while adding our voice to a growing chorus of stakeholders that believe the state needs to better regulate hygienists responsible for certifying the remediation of contaminated properties. We are pleased to report that legislation passed.

The session did bring to light a few issues that were not completely addressed, and thereby we already know of a few issues we can expect to work on between now and the 2014 session. Most likely, a renewed attempt at further foreclosure reform will be undertaken. Moreover, we expect further discussions and legislation involving judicial review of land use decisions, HOA registration and regulations, and possibly an attempt to regulate home inspectors.

Finally, we would like to thank Chair Tony Rose and our 36 dedicated LPC members this year; your efforts and expertise, once again, bolstered our advocacy efforts to the benefit of all CAR members and Colorado property owners – Thank you!

CAR Works to Protect Property Owners and Improve Remediation Oversight in SB-219

SB13-219, by Sen. Lois Tochtrop (D-Thornton) and Rep. Cherilyn Peniston (D-Westminster), Concerning Methamphetamine Laboratory Remediation, passed its final vote on May 6th.

This bill creates a process to certify and monitor the activities of professionals involved in the remediation of property contaminated by illegal drug labs. It directs the State Board of Health (board) within the Department of Public Health and Environment (DPHE) to promulgate rules to:

• create procedures for testing contaminated property;

• establish acceptable standards for remediation of illegal drug labs involving methamphetamine;

• establish procedures for a training and certification program for contractors and consultants (remediation professionals) who remediate drug-contaminated property;

• approve persons to provide training to remediation professionals;

• allow remediation professionals to issue certificates of compliance to property owners upon completion of remediation;

• implement a fee structure for the certification and monitoring of remediation professionals and the approval of persons who provide training; and

• determine and assess administrative penalties for violations.

CAR diligently worked to halt a late attempt to require the disclosure of remediated homes in which meth was either manufactured or used. The nondisclosure language has been in statute since the original meth legislation was enacted. It was initially included to incentivize property owners to remediate their properties so contaminated homes are not sold as is or remain a neighborhood nuisance. Ultimately, we were able restore this language and are pleased Colorado is creating a better process which will enhance the state's oversight of hygienists to ensure that certified properties are being properly remediated, and thus any material damage to the home is eliminated.

Colorado Hill Visits at 2013 MidYear Meeting NEXT WEEK!
We just want to send out a few pieces of information and reminders for the MidYear Meetings. First, NAR will no longer send registration badges by mail in advance of the Midyear Meetings. Just bring a printed copy of your confirmation email to the onsite registration desk in the Marriott Wardman Park Hotel to print out your badge. Second, we are so excited to have been able to schedule meetings with each of the Congressmen and Senators from Colorado. To view the talking points that will be discussed in these meetings, or to view a recording of the webcast with Jamie Gregory, NAR Deputy Chief Lobbyist, regarding this information, please click here. In addition, here is the link for the congressional district activity reports supplied by NAR based off the new congressional redistricting. Lastly, for those of you going to DC, Colorado will be hosting a reception for the delegation from 5-7PM on Thursday, May 16th. Please email Jaclyn at jdearien@coloradorealtors.com if you will be attending. Click here for information on meeting times, registration, and travel information for the MidYear Meetings. We look forward to seeing you there!

NAR President on Consumer Mortgage Choice Act

2013 NAR President Gary Thomas shares great news about the Consumer Mortgage Choice Act, a bipartisan legislative effort that clarifies how points and fees are calculated and ensures consumers have access to affordable mortgage credit. To listen to his comments, or learn more information, click here.

Bill May Extend Rural Housing Loan Access
Senators introduced S. 766 to grandfather existing communities eligible for rural housing programs. Under current law the Rural Housing Service (RHS) is required to evaluate all communities for eligibility following the 2010 census. This re-evaluation could make more than 900 communities ineligible for RHS programs. The definition of rural has not been updated since 1974. Communities and populations have changed in that time. Relying on a decades old definition is unrealistic and won’t meet the needs of rural communities.