On Tuesday, February 11 the House Committee on Judiciary heard House Bill (HB) 1413; Representative Shelia Solon’s trespass legislation. This bill gives law enforcement additional tools to enable them to remove “squatters” from real property. This has become a significant issue in St. Joe, and other communities with vacant properties.
Noting additional legislation; there has also been movement on Notary. The Senate Committee on Local Government and Elections heard both Senate Bill (SB) 578 and SB 593. Introduced by Senator Sandy Crawford, SB 578 deals only with E-Notary and Remote Online Notary. The Missouri Land Title Association (MLTA) asked Senator Crawford to introduce the bill. Senator Bill White’s SB 593 is the comprehensive redraft of Notary law from the office of the Secretary of State.
All parties agree changes are needed to enable the use of Remote Online Notary and to give additional guidance for E-Notary. There is also agreement that the entire Notary law needs to be updated. The problem is a disagreement on how to accomplish the E-Notary and Remote Online Notary legislation. The MLTA believes that enacting the underlying structure for both should be done in statute. The Secretary of State’s office, concerned with the rapid changes in technology, believes it is better to set broad outlines and allow the office to develop rules for the conduct of E-Notary and Remote Online Notary. There may be action this week on one or both bills.
There was to be a hearing last week on Senator Dan Hegeman’s SB 549 that deals with Low Income Housing Tax Credits (LIHTC). The bill includes several elements that were added to the legislation in the House last year. The first requires the Missouri Housing Develop Commission to “establish an evaluation rubric and score applicants for qualified Missouri projects against the rubric. The evaluation rubric shall include a component and score for applications that provide documentation to the commission demonstrating the applicant received competitive bids for the tax credits. The commission shall publish the rubric before it accepts applications and shall publish the scored rubric for each application.” The second element allows a piecemeal sale of the credits in a pilot project of no more than 15% of the credits. This presents several potential problems in terms of the federal tax treatment of the partnerships. While it’s essential to restart the program, doing it with problematic legislation is not the answer. The hearing was canceled and no word as to when it will be rescheduled.
Chief Lobbyist, Missouri REALTORS®