Capitol Update: April 29, Current Standing (Immunity, LIHTC and Licensing)
What a great Capitol Conference/April Business Conference week! We will be sharing photos soon highlighting the reception for the General Assembly held in Carnahan Memorial Garden, but they don’t do it justice. In addition, the General Assembly worked late on Wednesday, but as soon as they were released, a large group of legislators made their way to the reception and were blown away. Multiple House and Senate members stayed and enjoyed conversation well past closing time. To the REALTORS® who drove themselves and stuck around while we entertained General Assembly members, thanks!
Stand by for next year!
Regarding legislation; here’s where we stand:
Senate Bill 36 has been heard in the House and voted out of Committee. An amendment was added dealing with identification of a person who created a new legal description. The Board of Directors voted to fully support that amendment. Today, April 29, the Senate Professional Registration committee will consider HB 106. They will likely amend that language to the bill.
Low-Income Housing Tax Credits (LIHTC):
LIHTC is still in a state of flux. Senate Bill 28 has not yet been assigned to committee, but I expect that to happen soon. House Bill 665 is still alive but on life support. The industry, including Missouri REALTORS®, is willing to discuss real reforms but not to the extent that the proposed changes do damage to the program. In last Thursday’s Mission Advocacy committee meeting, a member spoke powerfully and favorably about the impact the program had on his family. As to the argument that only a limited number of developers use the credits, I had two of our members approach me and discuss their experience with doing LIHTC developments; one was successful, and I expect the other to be as well once the credits resume.
There is a potential problem contained in House Bill 564, also referred to as the “Fresh Start Act.” The goal of the proposal is to be sure a person is not forever barred from a professional license if they made a mistake years before; that makes sense. The problem is, by giving licensing boards the responsibility to determine which crimes act as a bar to professional licensure, the General Assembly may have created a situation where the licensing boards could be open to an anti-trust challenge. It’s a complicated issue, therefore, I’ve asked Steve Graham to review and comment. Note - I’ve been working with the Senate handler’s office and they have been very cooperative and interested. Senator Andrew Koenig is handling the bill in the Senate.