By the end of this month, 17 state legislatures will have adjourned. This year has proven to be an interesting one for many industries. Freshman legislators made up a large portion of lawmakers in many states after last fall’s election cycle, and many of CAI’s legislative action committees grappled with losing former legislators who “championed” community association issues.
In Maryland, where CAI normally sees several bills supporting our industry pass, several industry champions were no longer serving. No legislation directly impacting community associations passed. Many of the Maryland Legislative Action Committee’s (LAC) efforts were focused on successfully opposing legislation that negatively impacted community associations.
The Virginia LAC successfully lobbied for two pieces of legislation—one focusing on reserve studies and one on home-based businesses. The LAC worked directly with sponsors of the legislation in previous years and did not introduce new concepts to the legislature.
The Georgia LAC stopped legislation that would limit an association’s ability to govern short-term rentals and another bill that would have imposed fee restrictions on associations and their managing agents.
CAI’s newest legislative action committee, in Idaho, worked with legislators to amend a bill regarding solar use in community associations. And, CAI members in New Mexico worked hard to ensure community association interests were protected in legislation that passed regarding resale disclosure packet contents for consumer protections and reasonable fees. Finally, the Utah LAC was able to stop several pieces of legislation that would’ve negatively impacted communities.
The change in dynamics with fresh faces in legislatures brought about room for growth and opportunities for our LACs to educate new and old legislators on community association issues. Several LACs are taking 2019 as an opportunity to meet with their members during advocacy days at their respective state capitols. CAI’s California, Florida, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Texas, and Utah LACs, for example, scheduled dozens of meetings for their members to meet their legislators and discuss issues impacting their states.
Many states that are in session for a full calendar year will be beginning, if they have not already, to see movement in legislation between now and the start of summer. As a CAI advocate, please think about ways to educate your legislators about community associations and get ahead on our issues. We should continue to use 2019 as an opportunity to inform these freshman legislators, as well as veteran legislators of the importance of our industry. We want to be the first phone call a legislator or their staff member makes when they see a piece of legislation impacting community associations come across their desk. We are here to assist you, please contact us for resources.
For more information on what is happening or happened in your state in the 2019 legislation session, click here.
Phoebe E. Neseth, Esq.
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