Weekly Update: March 20, 2014

We had a great coalition put together for Governor Branstad’s Proclamation for Child Safety.  Officially it’s March 21, the anniversary of four year old Hannah Geneser’s fatal fall from a second story window in 2011.  Our group included representatives from HBAI, Blank Children’s Hospital, area pediatricians, and the Hannah Geneser Foundation.  We will continue to work together to build child safety campaigns.

Legislative Update – Second Funnel Week Now

The happenings at the Statehouse have once again been newsworthy – an assault on a legislator, fireworks, stiffer texting while driving penalties, worker training, and marijuana have all been in the mix. It seems as though everything that is moving through smoothly has wide, bi-partisan support. As promised long before the session began, they are all working to be done as quickly as possible and it’s still shaping up to accomplish that goal. Here is the latest culled list of the bills that we are currently monitoring or working on:

 

HSB 646      Homestead property tax credit; passed subcommittee; Support 3/7

 

HF 219        Eminent Domain; passed house

HF 2094      Statute of repose/HSB 504; 2/27 passed House

HF 2108      Property tax assessment/HSB 508; 2/12 passed House                         

HF 2129      Cap gains ex for sale of stock, sm bus/HSB 502; Support 3/7                                  

HF 2230      Vehicle permits/construction permits on ag land/HF 2059; 2/25 passed House

HF 2305      Economic development programs/HSB 542/SSB 3129; 2/18 passed com

HF 2317      Veterans homeownership fund/HSB 617; 2/18 passed com; support 2/26

HF 2321      Commercial property tax 

HF 2344      Drainage/levee districts/HF 460; 2/25 passed House 

HF 2353      Creation of homebuyer savings acct/HSB 638; Support 3/7 

HF 2375      Land use restrictions/HSB 573/SSB 3115        2/19 passed com

HF 2411      State/local government powers/eminent domain/HF 289; 2/25 on calendar

HF 2412      School radon testing/mitigation grant program

HF 2414      Motor fuel tax

 

SSB 3201     Solar income tax credit                                

 

SF 431         Solar income tax credit; passed Senate 2013

SF 2017       Tax exemption wetlands; research more

SF 2034       Tornado resistance infrastructure program/HF 2100

SF 2085       Real property enhancement/HF 2057

SF 2091       Co-ownership/SSB 3082; 2/24 passed Senate

SF 2242       Vets home ownership assistance/SSB 3178; Support 3/7

SF 2248       Rural and urban woodlands & trees/SF 2159   2/20 passed com

SF 2256       Redevelopment tax credits/SSB 3050            

SF 2265       Vehicle registration/levee/SSB 3140/HSB 605/HF 2273; 2/21 passed com

SF 2273       Trustees of ag land in drainage districts/SSB 3172; 2/27 passed Senate

SF 2312       Regulating multi-housing/HSB 583; 2/27 passed Senate 

SF 2317       Job training/apprenticeship programs

 

Bringing Housing Home

We’re on track for a very successful Bringing Housing Home campaign.  The photos here are from yesterday’s very successful meeting with Iowa 4th District Congressman Steve King, who met with the entire board of directors of the Siouxland HBA in Sioux City.  Here is a PDF of the brochure that we’re handing out.

The schedule will also include:

Representative Loebsack – Quad Cities Builders and Remodelers, March 28

Senator Grassley – his Des Moines office,Friday, April 4 – 11 a.m.

Congressman Braley – Cedar Rapids HBA, April ? – it was postponed today…

Please email Jay Iverson if you’d like to participate in the remaining meetings.

 

 

Homeowner Flood Insurance Affordability Act

We can be proud of our Iowa Congressional Delegation (King did not vote) for the passage of flood insurance legislation late last week. Senator Grassley was initially against it, but thanks to a huge team effort of our grassroots members and staff, it’s now a great victory that will benefit home buyers and home owners. It’s going to provide an important boost to home building and remodeling, and provide financial stability for the National Flood Insurance Program.

We have been working diligently for months to get this important bill over the finish line and it will show tangible results for our industry. This collective effort illustrates the value of membership. The legislation now goes to President Obama to be signed into law. The victory will provide our federation great momentum as builders across the nation meet with their lawmakers in their home districts for Bringing Housing Home.  H.R. 3370, the Homeowner Flood Insurance Affordability Act (S. 1926), will:

  • Provide a more affordable rate structure for policyholders.
  • Repeal the requirement that flood insurance premiums increase immediately to full actuarial rates for homes that are sold.
  • Create more accurate flood maps.
  • Provide reimbursement for successful consumer map appeals.
  • Return the “substantial improvement threshold” that triggers a higher flood insurance rate to the historic 50 percent level of a structure’s fair market value.

 

 

Weekly Update: March 13, 2014

Legislative Update – Second Funnel Week Now

The happenings at the Statehouse have once again been newsworthy – an assault on a legislator, fireworks, stiffer texting while driving penalties, worker training, and marijuana have all been in the mix. It seems as though everything that is moving through smoothly has wide, bi-partisan support. As promised long before the session began, they are all working to be done as quickly as possible and it’s still shaping up to accomplish that goal. Here is the latest culled list of the bills that we are currently monitoring or working on:

HSB 646      Homestead property tax credit; Support 3/7

HF 572        Statute of limitations/HSB 173; withdrawn; Support

HF 2011      Minimum Wage; Oppose 1/31      

HF 2094      Statute of repose/HSB 504; 2/27 passed House

HF 2108      Property tax assessment/HSB 508; 2/12 passed House                         

HF 2129      Cap gains ex for sale of stock, sm bus/HSB 502; Support 3/7                                  

HF 2230      Vehicle permits/construction permits on ag land/HF 2059; 2/25 passed House

HF 2273      Vehicle registration/levee districts/HSB 605/SSB 3140; 2/25 passed House

HF 2305      Economic development programs/HSB 542/SSB 3129; 2/18 passed com

HF 2317      Veterans homeownership fund/HSB 617; 2/18 passed com; support 2/26

HF 2321      Commercial property tax 

HF 2331      Restriction of rental prop/HSB 9/HF 184; 2/17 passed com; support 

HF 2344      Drainage/levee districts/HF 460; 2/25 passed House 

HF 2353      Creation of homebuyer savings acct/HSB 638; Support 3/7 

HF 2373      Hiring preference to vets/HSB 512/HF 2234; 2/19 passed com 

HF 2375      Land use restrictions/HSB 573/SSB 3115        2/19 passed com

HF 2391      Energy Improvement; Support 3/7

HF 2408      Excavator notification requirements/HSB 518; 2/18 passed com; oppose 2/26 

HF 2410      Exceptions from city zoning regs/HSB 627; 2/25 on calendar

HF 2411      State/local government powers/eminent domain/HF 289; 2/25 on calendar

HF 2412      School radon testing/mitigation grant program

HF 2414      Motor fuel tax

 

SSB 3071     Forced hiring despite criminal background; Oppose 1/31

SSB 3201     Solar income tax credit                                

 

SF 431         Solar income tax credit; passed Senate 2013

SF 2017       Tax exemption wetlands; research more

SF 2034       Tornado resistance infrastructure program/HF 2100

SF 2011       Minimum Wage; Oppose 1/31

SF 2085       Real property enhancement/HF 2057

SF 2091       Co-ownership/SSB 3082; 2/24 passed Senate

SF 2155       Private construction contracts/SSB 3059/HSB 575; 2/24 passed Senate

SF 2191       Financing work drainage districts/SF 2055; 2/25 passed Senate

SF 2242       Vets home ownership assistance/SSB 3178; Support 3/7

SF 2246       Home ownership for military members; Support 3/7

SF2247        Home ownership for military members; Support 3/7

SF 2248       Rural and urban woodlands & trees/SF 2159   2/20 passed com

SF 2256       Redevelopment tax credits/SSB 3050            

SF 2260       Minimum wage increase/SSB 3194; 2/21 passed com; oppose 2/26

SF 2262       Radon testing in public schools/SF 2127; 2/21 passed com

SF 2264       Construction managers/public works/SF 2177; Support 3/7

SF 2265       Vehicle registration/levee/SSB 3140/HSB 605/HF 2273; 2/21 passed com

SF 2273       Trustees of ag land in drainage districts/SSB 3172; 2/27 passed Senate

SF 2304       Restriction of rental property/SSB 3068; 2/21 passed com; oppose 2/26

SF 2312       Regulating multi-housing/HSB 583; 2/27 passed Senate 

SF 2315       Land use restrictions/SSB 3115/HSB 573/HF 2375; 2/27 passed Senate

SF 2317       Job training/apprenticeship programs

Bringing Housing Home

   It’s been a bit of a struggle coordinating schedules for next week’s Bringing Housing Home campaign, but were on the calendar with a few of them.  Here is a PDF of the brochure that we’re handing out.  Next Wednesday, March 19, the Board of Directors of the HBA of Greater Siouxland will meet with Representative Steve King.  A group of us will meet with Senator Grassley in his Des Moines office on Friday, April 4.  Congressman Brailey will meet with us on Saturday, April 5 in Cedar Rapids (details to follow).  We’re still waiting for the remaining delegation to solidify dates.

 

Interactive Endangered Species Finder Map – 123 in Iowa

   Did you know that NAHB’s exclusive interactive endangered species finder map can save builder members who are engaged in land development roughly $1,500 in consulting fees?

 

Rainscaper Meeting
   For many of us, this really wouldn’t matter until you read articles like the one that follow this one. If you have any ties to land development, it might be pretty interesting. It’s at the IAMU Training Complex Auditorium in Ankeny on Wednesday March 26, 2014: 9:00 AM to Noon (Free); Optional lunch at noon for $10.  To Register Click Here
    Who should attend?  Certified Rainscapers, those interested in becoming Certified Rainscapers and anyone interested in the Rainscaping Iowa Program.  Topics will include Rainscaping projects in Iowa; New design guidelines for bioretention cells and bioswales; Status of revised SQR & Green Roof design guidelines; Opportunities for involvement with State Revolving Fund-Sponsored Projects; Rainscaper certification process; Sign designs, marketing, and networking.

Builders Will Save Average of $6,200/Home Due to NAHB Efforts on ELGs

Home builders will save an average of $6,200 per home on stormwater control costs due to a recent settlement agreement between NAHB and the Wisconsin Home Builders Association and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

In accordance with the settlement agreement, EPA has taken final action on rules governing how clean the water running off construction sites after a rainfall must be. The new rules will be published in the Federal Register by March 11.

The Effluent Limitation Guidelines rule replaces EPA’s 2009 attempt to control erosion and sediment. That proposed rule prohibited certain kinds of discharges and limited the amount of dust and dirt allowed in any eventual runoff in what is called the turbidity limit. NAHB economists estimate that this last stipulation regarding runoff would have forced builders to apply additional expensive controls or additives to the water. On average, these controls would have cost $6,200 per each new home constructed.

NAHB’s litigation brought EPA to the settlement table where, after forceful negotiations, the agency backed away from this onerous and costly rule. NAHB successfully argued that there was no scientific basis for the limits, which in some cases could require runoff to be cleaner than the natural state of the rivers and other water bodies near the construction site.

The settlement agreement allowed EPA to enact a new rule that maintains the erosion control requirements, but drops the turbidity limit. The new rule also clarifies some requirements for the benefit of states updating their own stormwater permits, which must be at least as strict as EPA’s national model and must be renewed every five years.