February, 2008
Legislative News
Inspection News and Views from the American Society of Home Inspectors

Getting Started in 2008


The holidays are finally over, spring is coming (we hope!) and the legislative sessions have begun. Many states that introduced bills last year will revisit those bills. And, there may be some surprises with new bills, so lets go over a few things.

Legislative tools available to you

If you haven't already done so, take a look at Statewise in the January ASHI Reporter and especially the articles by Janet Swandby. These articles are chock-full of strategic and tactical tips for dealing with regulation, and they point out significant new trends that even the most experienced grass-roots organizers may not be aware of.

Position Statement on the Regulation of Home Inspectors

ASHIs groundbreaking Position Statement, in its sixth edition, is your starting point and your roadmap for navigating the legislative highway. The Statement contains a model bill you can use as a template to share with legislators. Also, use the model to determine whether you should support or oppose a draft bill. Even if you are working against regulation, you will need the 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 sectors leading resource for all parties interested in questions regarding the regulation of our profession.

Want to see how other states have done with their regulations? Turn to the report card at the back of the Statement.

You can download the Position Statement in pdf format. Call 847-954-3177 or e-mail bobk@ashi.org if you would like saddle-stitched copies.

Want to read thumbnail descriptions of all 32 existing laws? Want to read the laws themselves and the rules and regulations? Go to the Home Inspection Profession section of www.ash.org and look for State Regulations in the column on the left.

ASHI Legislative Guidebook

Whether you are just beginning with legislative activity or are a seasoned pro, you’ll want to read the ASHI Legislative Guidebook. Written in 1997 by Janet Swandby, this classic manual gives you detailed information on every aspect of the legislative arena, from contacting your elected officials, to building coalitions, to testifying at hearings, to hiring a lobbyist and much, much more. This is an insider’s look at the legislative process that will give you the confidence and tools to make a difference. You can find the Guidebook on the ASHI Web site in the Members Only area, also under Publications/Legislative Publications.

ASHI's Legislative Action Center

ASHI has created a special site, the Legislative Action Center, to promote awareness of important home inspection issues and to facilitate discussion on matters involving government regulation of home inspectors.

The Center allows members to identify their elected representatives, from the White House to town hall, and it provides e-mail addresses and other contact information. There also is information about elections and candidates. One of the very best features is an Issues and Legislation page that ASHI can use to develop grass-roots campaigns by posting updated information on introduced legislation. Finally, HQ can create alerts and messages that ASHI members can send to their elected reps to lobby for a chapters positions on bills. In the last two years, several chapters and states have used these messages to defeat terrible legislation.

Your ASHI Legislative Committee

Last, but not least, you have the services of the ASHI Legislative Committee (LGC) just an e-mail or phone call away. The LGC will respond to requests for bill review and tips on coalition building, hiring lobbyists, PAC startup and other vital issues. Contact the LGC through Bob Kociolek, ASHI director of cChapter relations and state affairs, at bobk@ashi.org or 847-954-3177.

It' s Up to You!

ASHI provides more legislative services and tools for its members than any other inspector organization. These are your dues dollars working for you. Of course, you must decide your positions and strategies for legislation in general and specific bills in particular. Were here to help.