The holidays are finally over; spring is coming (we hope!), and legislative sessions are underway. Although 47 states have convened their 2003 sessions, it will be awhile before we have something to report, so this is the perfect time to prepare for what’s coming.
Legislative Tools – a mouse click away
Many of the tools you will need to prepare for legislative activities can be found at the ASHI Web site, www.ashi.org.
If you haven’t already, take a look at the article by Janet Swandby, “Be Prepared for the 2003 Legislative Sessions,” on page 10 of the January Reporter. This article is chock full of strategic and tactical tips for dealing with regulation. Misplaced your magazine? Go to the Members Only area of the Web site, then go to Latest News and click on the article.
Position Statement on the Regulation of Home Inspectors
Back in October, HQ mailed the new “Position Statement on Regulation of Home Inspectors” to every ASHI Member and Candidate. This is your starting point and road map for navigating the legislative highway. The “Statement” contains a model bill that you can use as a template for sharing with legislators. With this model you can determine whether you can support or oppose a draft bill. Even if you are working against regulation, you will need this “Position Statement” to determine if and when you need to shift tactics and promote a draft that is pro-inspector and pro-consumer.
The “Position Statement” contains summaries on key elements of regulation that identify ASHI as the private sector leading source to all parties interested in any questions regarding the regulation of our profession.
Want to see how states have legislated? Turn to the report card in the back of the “Statement.”
Interested in reading thumbnail descriptions of existing laws? Want to read the laws themselves and the rules and regulations? Go to www.ashi.com/inspectors/state.htm, and scroll down until you find the state you want information about.
“ASHI Legislative Guidebook”
Whether you’re just beginning with legislative activity or you’re a seasoned pro, you’ll want to read the “ASHI Legislative Guidebook.” Written in 1997 by Janet Swandby, it provides detailed information on every aspect of the legislative arena, including contacting your elected officials; building coalitions; testifying at hearings; hiring a lobbyist; and more. This insider’s look at the legislative process will give you the confidence and tools to make a difference. Find the “Guidebook” on the ASHI Web site in the “Members Only” area, in “ASHI Documents.”
ASHI has created a new special Web site, HomeInspectorRegulation.com, to create awareness of important home inspection issues and to facilitate discussion on matters involving government regulation of home inspectors. You can access this new service through the “Members Only” page on ashi.org by going to Legislative Action Center in the menu on the left side of the page.
HomeInspector-Regulation.com allows Members to find out who all their elected representatives are, from the White House to town hall, and lists e-mail addresses and other contact information. You can also find election and candidate information. One of the best features is an Issues and Legislation page that we can use to develop grassroots campaigns. We will be posting updated information on introduced legislation here.
New and carried over legislation
California SB 31 is a carry over from 2002. Introduced by Senator Figueroa. SB 31 prohibits anyone from using the title “certified home inspector” or other words implying certification without fulfilling certain requirements. It requires a home inspector to make disclosures in writing as to his/her qualifications, whether the home inspector carries general and professional liability insurance, and whether the home inspector is certified prior to commencing a home inspection.
SB 31 was referred to the Business and Professions Committee on January 8.
2003 ASHI Legislative Committee to meet
The Legislative Committee (LGC) will meet in Chicago in late February to review its work plan and prepare for the year ahead. The LGC is a major tool for assistance in all your legislative efforts. Last year, the LGC reviewed drafts from Alaska, New York, Missouri and Colorado and provided information to several state legislators and staffers. This year, ASHI Members in Iowa and New Mexico have submitted draft bills for review by the LGC. To contact the LGC, call Bob Kociolek at 847-759-2820 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.