I’m a little late getting this started today because I wanted to be able to include comments on a meeting held earlier today. Last week several of us were standing in the corridor on the 3rd floor of the Capitol, just talking about nothing important when Secretary of State Jay Ashcroft came walking down the stairs, walked over said hello and started talking about his legislation to rewrite the notary statute. We had met on the issue earlier that week with one of the electronic remote notary vendors, so the lenders and the title companies had some comments. The suggestion was made to get everyone in a room and review so, today about 20 people met in the Secretary of State’s conference room and based on that meeting I think we are much closer to getting a bill that people will use.
Remember you can pass any remote notarization bill you want, but title insurers, underwriters, and lenders won’t use one unless they believe it provides them with sufficient security, their support is tremendously important.
We are probably not quite there, but I think we are much closer than we were before the meeting and there is a reasonable chance that we can pass a bill this year. There are several other bills that deal with only remote notarization, but Secretary of State Ashcroft made the point that the act hadn’t been significantly amended since the early 1970’s and updating was sorely needed.
As more happens on this issue, I’ll let you know.
No one was astonished this week when the House Committee on General Laws voted to send HB 2457 out of committee. HB 2457 is this year's version of vacation rental legislation; you may remember the issue from last year. Those who are heavily involved in short-term rentals, mostly from the either Lake of the Ozarks or the area focused around Branson believe that this bill will significantly harm this rapidly growing market segment. As this issue moves forward, you should expect a Call for Action.
On Tuesday, March 13 the Senate Insurance and Banking Committee will hear testimony on HB 1796, First Time Home-Buyers Savings Account. Adam and I have spoken to several of the committee members and will see the remainder on Monday, thus far its all positive.
Senate Bill 920, immunity for licensees when dealing with disclosure of the area of the property, is on the Senate Perfection Calendar, there are about 20 bills ahead of it, best guess is not this week but possibly next.
And, I’d be remiss if I didn’t thank John Sebree for his invitation to the celebration of the 35th Anniversary of Hawthorn Foundation, this last Wednesday. It was to honor Senator Kit Bond who, as Governor had the foresight to establish the organization that has been a significant source of new job growth in Missouri, for me it was a chance to see people I hadn’t seen in years, and that was fun.
As always the list of bills we are following is attached to the Common Ground teaser that brought you here.