Weekly Update: May 8, 2014

2014 HBAI Legislative Affairs Committee Review

Here are some interesting statistics from this past legislative session, provided by Legislative Chairman Glenn Siders (Iowa City).

  • The Session opened January 13, 2014. The House adjourned 109 days later on May 1. The Senate adjourned Friday 110 days later on May 2.
  • The Committee shared a total of 15 votes: Ames 1; Cedar Rapids 2; Des Moines 3; Dubuque 1; Fort Dodge 1; Iowa City 2; Northeast 1; Northwest 1; Quad Cities 2; and Sioux City 1.
  • The Committee had 11 calls, averaging 36 minutes in length, and we averaged 12.5 members.
  • The Committee reviewed 94 bills that included 10 carried over from the 2013 Session. It also included bills that changed from a study bill to a numbered bill.
  • The Committee took positions on 18 bills, supporting 11 and opposing 7. The average vote cast per position was 8.2 and all votes were unanimous.

It was a relatively quiet year as far as legislation directly impacting the building/development industry. Some of the highlights included:

  • Radon legislation was reduced to schools only. The residential component was removed.
  • Window Fall Protection legislation was re-orchestrated and good future alliances were formed.
  • Mechanics Lien legislation was thwarted.

 

Ames HBA Membership Meeting

hba-paul-rhodes-2

hba-paul-rhodes    Iowa State Football Coach Paul Rhoads spoke at last week’s Ames HBA membership meeting.  He’s super optimistic about the prospects for the upcoming season, with some amazing early talent.  They have three quarterback choices who will all be trying super hard to start.  Coach Rhoads said that the Big 12 easily has more depth than any other conferences.  Depth that is equally spread over many schools, which is going to make it an awesome season.  He’s running a program that will not tolerate individuals who break the rules and has released a few players that had NFL sized talent, just because their ethical conduct was unbecoming.  Good stuff and a great talk.

The Perils of Patent Trolls

Our HBAI Legislative Committee discussed the possibility of building bills based on patent trolling. At that time it was decided to take a wait and see approach – quite a few states passed legislation to safeguard our members from this growing trend.

NAHB Senior Vice President and General Counsel, Jim Rizzo, is attending the Spring Policy Conference of the Democratic Attorneys General Association in Seattle this week to represent the home building industry in a panel discussion examining the scourge of patent trolls.

Joining Jim on the panel will be representatives of other business sectors that have been targeted by patent trolling including retailing, financial services and the software industry.

NAHB was invited to participate in the forum shortly after a situation affecting home builders came to light in the Pacific Northwest. Builders there received letters charging that they were – or may be in the future — infringing on a construction-related moisture removal patent. The letters demanded that the builders enter a licensing agreement and pay the patent owner a fee per home to use their patented “process” or face legal action.

We will continue to monitor this and it may be something that we need to clean up in the next session. Google patent trolling and you’ll see exactly how this works. Crazy stuff.

HousingIowa Awards – Get Your Nominations In

The 2014 HousingIowa Conference will feature the 7th annual awards to honor awesome and outstanding leadership throughout all facets of Iowa’s housing industry.

The HousingIowa Awards recognize programs or projects based on their contributions to advancing the affordable housing industry in Iowa in three categories:

  • Multifamily
  • Single-Family
  • Special Needs Housing Development

Eligible projects may represent new construction, rehabilitation or a new housing program/initiative. Please consider nominating an awesome program or project, by returning this nomination form and supporting materials to the Iowa Finance Authority no later than Thursday, July 3, 2014. Nominations for an individual project may only be received in one category.

 

May is National Home Remodeling Month

In May, during National Home Remodeling Month, this is your chance to reach out to your local media and consumers with a focus on the benefits of hiring a professional remodeler.  Whether it’s tips for why, when and how to choose a professional remodeler, May is the time to celebrate the remodeling industry.

The campaign includes sample social media posts, web banners, press releases, fact sheets and other consumer materials. Members and local remodelers councils can download government proclamations, articles and op-eds, fact sheets and a how-to kit for implementing the campaign. These materials are easily customizable and can be used however you wish. Or follow our simple step-by-step guide to lead you through the campaign.  Click here for the entire package.

Weekly Update: May 1, 2014

HBAI Legislative Recap for 2014 

As we release this weekly newsletter, the 2014 Iowa Legislative Session is in its final hours. This session was an interesting series of election year positioning and limited bipartisan cooperation. Recurring news headlines painted graphic attacks on the operation of state government by first highlighting a multitude of issues involving the Governor, more recently focusing on the Department of Administrative Services and the Secretary of State’s office. The Senate Oversight Committee hearings on alleged “secret settlement agreements” monopolized a great deal of legislator time which has extended the session longer than originally predicted.

Overall, progress was made in regard to issues affecting our industry. One of the highlights this legislative session for HBAI was to further establish our association as a community partner by building positive relationships with other associations and industry groups. Additionally, our legislative team monitored all introduced bills in order to adequately defend our profession against undesirable changes in the industry. Your HBA federation membership provides an inside track concerning legislative pitfalls and political responsibility, informing you of movement as it happensat the Capitol. As you are aware, the necessity to stay apprised of policy changes is vital to prevent enactment of restrictive legislation that could adversely affect the building industry.

HBAI monitored over 50 bills this legislative session. Of these pieces, a few of the key initiatives are outlined below:

Taxation: While taxation legislation is more general in nature, the impacts of such policy changes are far reaching, affecting the building industry as well as home owners. HBAI seeks to educate policy makers and the public on issues that will keep Iowa competitive and ensure future generations have the opportunity of home ownership. Property taxes are always at the top of the list. In addition, bills regarding solar energy tax credits, capital gains tax exemption for the sale of small businesses, and housing tax incentives, among others, comprised the landscape this session.

Housing Affordability:  Our members are true patriots for housing affordability-they are small business owners under constant attack through unnecessary code changes and increased government regulation. These proposals drive up the cost of home ownership, creating unnecessary burdens for Iowans. At the state level, positive legislative initiatives like the Homebuyer Savings Account proposal that allows Iowans to contribute to a savings vehicle for purchase of a first home and bills that provide incentives for military veterans align with HBAI’s mission to provide homeownership opportunities to all Iowans. Additionally, our efforts with the National Association of Home Builders resulted in a savings of $6,200 per housing start in 2013.

 

Statute of Limitations: Attempts to limits the discovery period in a property lawsuit from five years to three years were well received by the legislature this session. The proposed reduction benefits both consumers and homebuilders by encouraging mitigation of a problem much earlier than what is currently happening today. By starting the process earlier the overall damage is reduced, thereby reducing repair time and insurance rates.

 

Collaboration: We enthusiastically keep ahead of safety, energy, and health issues. As the industry evolves we prefer to collaborate and work within the market rather than constantly change Iowa Code. Window fall protection, which has been in the news and in front of the legislature for the past few years, is an example of how collaboration is working. HBAI partnered with Blank Children’s Hospital, the Iowa Chapter of the Academy of Pediatrics, the Hannah Geneser Foundation and Governor Branstad to promote child safety.

 


Inaugural Doug Mayo Memorial Golf Tournament Sponsors

We are so excited about the awesome sponsor participation in our Inaugural Doug Mayo Memorial Golf Tournament – that alone is a great testament to Doug. The field of players is full, as well as the sponsorships. We are still in need of door and raffle prizes though, so if you have any great ideas please contact Jay Iverson as soon as possible. He would be glad to pick up any prizes as he’s out and about. All proceeds will go towards scholarships awarded within our HBAI Educational Corporation to students pursuing the trades. Here are the key sponsors for this first ever event.

hba-iowa-doug-mayo-scholarshipEvent Sponsor

Wells Fargo Home Mortgage

Hole in One Sponsor

Deery Brothers (hole #12)

19th Hole/Driving Range

Kitchen & Bath Ideas

Prize Sponsors

Bell Brothers

Cascade

Clarity Construction

Des Moines HBA

Hubbell Homes

Iowa City HBA

Prairie Pella

TS Construction

Beverage Sponsors

Beisser Lumber

Electrical Installations of Iowa

Lundy Decorating

Metro Heating & Cooling

Northwest Bank

Reynolds & Reynolds

 

“Pick your Hole” Sponsors

Tari & Linda Dailey

R. M. Madden Construction

TS Construction

Wayne Dalton Doors

Hole Sponsors

Ames HBA

Beisser Lumber

Beth Bezdicek: Coldwell Banker

Bob Christian

Cable Plumbing

Capital Sanitary Supply

Cascade Manufacturing Co./Weyerhauser

Fleming Construction

Floor Coverings International

Flooring America

Furman Corporation

Jake and Amy Ganske

Gary’s Tree Services

Granite, Marble, and Tile Solutions

Heuss Construction

Jim and Patty Jansen

KCCI TV (hole #8)

Kohles & Bach

Leachman Lumber

Pro Comfort Heating & Cooling

Reynolds & Reynolds

Speck USA

Ten 25 Designs (Cooper Riley)

Top Deck Media

Tyler Homes (Linda Harmeyer)

 

We Need a Few More Volunteers to Judge the IC Parade Homes

The Greater IC HBA has nine judges recruited, but needs 15.  There are 33 entries and the homes are in scattered site locations in Iowa City, Coralville, North Liberty, and Johnson County. Homes range in price from $200,000 to over $1 Million.  Representatives that agree to judge for Iowa City Area Parade should not supply product or work directly with our parade builders.

Details:

A breakfast is planned at 7:30 am., June 3, 2014, at the River City Beefstro, Coralville in the board room. All judges and drivers will meet at this location.  You will be given a few brief instructions and will be assigned a driver to take you to the homes.  Packets and guidebooks will be sent after we receive your commitment to participate.  Lunch is provided and it should take about half of a day. Hotel arrangements can be made for members traveling a long distance if needed.  Please contact Joan directly if you are interested in helping to judge our parade homes.  Thanks in advance for helping.

 

New Issue of Construction Liability and Risk Management Update

The latest issue of NAHB’s Construction Liability and Risk Management Update features information on current legal cases affecting insurance coverage, including what it means to be an “additional insured” and two recent cases concerning California’s right to repair statute.

Also featured in this issue are decisions concerning the statute of repose in Minnesota, worker misclassification in Illinois, OSHA’s multi-employer policy and much, much more. Go to the Construction Liability and Risk Management Update.

May is National Home Remodeling Month

In May, during National Home Remodeling Month, this is your chance to reach out to your local media and consumers with a focus on the benefits of hiring a professional remodeler.  Whether it’s tips for why, when and how to choose a professional remodeler, May is the time to celebrate the remodeling industry.

The campaign includes sample social media posts, web banners, press releases, fact sheets and other consumer materials. Members and local remodelers councils can download government proclamations, articles and op-eds, fact sheets and a how-to kit for implementing the campaign. These materials are easily customizable and can be used however you wish. Or follow our simple step-by-step guide to lead you through the campaign.  Click here for the entire package.