T aking a major step forward on the legislative front, the Board of Directors voted to adopt an enhanced version of the American Society of Home Inspectors Position Statement on Regulation of Home Inspectors, presented by the Legislative Committee at the April 20 meeting. The position statement, with the minor revisions and additions requested by the Board, allows ASHI to take a proactive stance on regulatory activities in states, as it also provides the tools needed by the Membership, non-affiliated home inspectors, state legislators and staffers, and consumers to ensure when home inspectors are regulated the legislation is truly in the best interests of consumers and the profession.
Presented as a white paper, the statement includes the following:
• an executive summary,
• a brief history of ASHI and its membership requirements,
• position statements outlining ASHI’s stand on the critical elements in legislation,
• an ASHI model licensing law designed to be used by states as a template,
• a summary complete with grading of existing state laws, and
• a conclusion offering resources.
ASHI will exhibit at the July National Conference of State Legislators in Denver and present the position paper to 6,000 state elected officials, staffers and “movers and shakers” at that time. It will also broadly distribute the paper to ASHI Membership, the press, and all major players in the real estate arena.
Do you know who your elected officials are?
As ASHI takes a proactive ap-proach to legislation, it’s equally important for individuals to make their opinions known. To do this, you need to know who your elected officials are. Now you can find out at ashi.org. Identify all your elected officials, from your local government, to your state representatives, in the U. S. Congress and the White House quickly and easily. Go to the Members Only area and click on State Federal Legislators. This will take you to a page with a list of states. Click on your state, and take it from there. All you have to do is enter your zip code. You can also send a broadcast email to all your elected representatives or go into your state’s legislative area to check up on home inspector activity and other items of interest. We hope you find this new Membership feature useful. Let us know how you like it!
Alabama enacts a new licensing law
On April 26, Alabama’s Governor signed HB 216 into law as Act 517. This effectively replaces Act 96-574, which required home inspectors to be registered beginning in 1996. The law also moves authority over home inspectors from the Secretary of State to the Alabama Building Commission. The law provides for the Commission to establish a home inspector code of ethics and standards of practice as outlined by ASHI or “an equivalent professional body.” It also provides for the requirement that home inspectors successfully complete a test prior to licensure or, in the case of existing registrants, prior to the renewal of licensure. Act 517 outlines educational and experiential requirements for licensure, sets license fees and insurance requirements, and defines penalties under which a license may be suspended or revoked. For a copy of Act 517 contact Bob Kociolek at HQ at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 1-847-759-2820. Available as a PDF file.
Developments in new and carried over bills
Arizona HB 2166 awaits singing by the Governor. This is a certification bill. We last reported that on March 27, the House Rules Committee voted to recommend passage of the bill as amended and it was read a second time. On April 3, the AZ House passed the bill on a vote of 46-11. It was sent to the Senate and referred to the Senate Commerce Committee, which voted to recommend the bill for passage as amended and referred it to the Senate Rules Committee. On April 15 the Rules Committee reported the bill as “proper for consideration” by the full Senate, which then read the bill and passed it on a vote of 25-1. On April 25 the House agreed to the Senate amendment and forwarded HB 2166 to the Governor for executive action. The Governor had 10 days to sign or veto the bill.
Colorado SB 208 is a licensing bill. SB 208 creates a Home Inspection Licensing Board under the Division of Real Estate, within the Department of Regulatory Agencies. The bill establishes the composition of the Board, and it requires the Board to prescribe the content and form of an examination for licensure. SB 208 allows the Division to establish rules regarding the application process, publishing standards of practice and code of ethics and maintaining a list of licensed home inspectors. Qualifications for licensure include obtaining a high school diploma or equivalent, passing the Board’s exam, and paying the prescribed fee. The bill also requires proof of insurance, allows for reciprocity and exemptions, and establishes penalties.
SB 208 was introduced by Senator Hernandez on April 9 and referred to the Senate Committee on Health, Environment, Children and Families. On April 10 a hearing was held and the Committee voted to refer the bill to the Senate Appropriations Committee for further review. On April 18 the Appropriations Committee gave the bill a favorable report as amended and referred the bill to the Senate Committee of the Whole. On April 19 the Committee of the Whole recommended the bill for passage. On April 25 the bill was passed by the Senate and forwarded to the House Business Affairs and Labor Committee for further review. No further action has been taken.
Missouri HB 1723 is a licensing bill. As reported in previous issues, the bill had been referred to the Professional Registration and Licensing Committee, which voted on April 11 to recommend the bill as amended for passage. On April 23 the Committee adopted the substitute amendment and HB 1723 is now awaiting further action by the full House. The legislative session ended on May 17.
2002 legislative sessions winding down
The following state legislatures have adjourned or did not meet this year: Arkansas, Montana, Nevada, North Dakota, Oregon, Texas (these did not meet), Florida, Indiana, New Mexico, South Dakota, Utah, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia and Wyoming. Twenty-one others were projected to end by the end of May.