Wednesday, February 12th marks the legislative midpoint of the 2020 General Assembly Session known as “Crossover”. This is the date when the House and Senate each take up bills that passed the other chamber. That means the 1,952 House bills and 1,217 Senate bills need to be considered by their chamber of origin by February 11th before they can cross over to the other legislative body.
That deadline means long, sometimes contentious, days of committee meetings and floors sessions that can extend past Midnight.
The good news is the Virginia REALTORS® Legislative Agenda is in solid shape, with most of our bills already passing through their original legislative body. Our final two bills, House Bill 513 and House Bill 594, passed the House of Delegates uncontested on Friday.
As important as it is for us to pass good bills, we also spend substantial time defeating bad legislation or amending bills to remove objectionable policy. As we often find out with the General Assembly, legislators introduce initiatives with good intent, but the policy direction is not always the most practical. As an association, Virginia REALTORS® pride ourselves in working with legislators to solve problems, even if the original legislation is bad.
This Session, we have dealt with several bills that would require mandatory seller disclosure of items such as radon gas zones, flood hazard zones, homebuyer education programs, or the presence of lead pipes. We’ve successfully either defeated these bills or worked with the patron to put appropriate language in the Virginia Residential Property Disclosure “Buyer Beware” form. Understanding the potential impacts and liabilities mandatory disclosures, the state legislature has generally agreed that the “Buyer Beware” due diligence process is the best policy approach for Virginia consumers.
Member (or Association or Local Visit) Highlight:
We had three great REALTOR® groups visit Richmond this week for Day on the Hill activities. REALTORS® from the Williamsburg Area, Prince William, and Greater Piedmont visited the Capitol to lobby legislators on issues important to you and your clients.