Weekly Update: February 2, 2018

Would You Like to Remedy Defects First or Be Sued Right Away?
We need you to reach out ASAP to your respective legislators on both the House and Senate side, asking for their support for the Opportunity to Repair Construction Defects bills.  This is a common sense, good business practice effort.  Basically, it just says that the property owner needs to provide the opportunity for the builder/subs to repair issues prior to litigation.
Approximately 30 states have already passed similar language, attempting to be proactive on horrible class action lawsuits that have taken place in other states.  Florida and Colorado are the most egregious.  Attorneys in Florida are raking in millions of dollars in stucco related suits.  Colorado started it with some nasty condo/townhome suits.
There is a growing list of groups against it, including the Bar Association and the Iowa Attorney General – that’s where we need you to step up to the plate as soon as possible.
Reach out to your folks and let them know that this protects the consumer – they will have to disclose defects when they sell the property and it’s best that issues are dealt with as soon as possible.  Some of these lawsuits have been putting less than 60% back into the homeowner’s pockets and they still have to pay to have the mitigation.  It just makes good business sense.  If you do not know who represents you, find them by clicking here.
SSB3064 – Opportunity to Repair Construction Defects
Senate Judiciary Committee Members
HSB575 – Opportunity to Repair Construction Defects –
House Judiciary Committee Members
   The subcommittee meeting on HSB575 was interesting this week – that’s why we need you to reach out to any of the Judiciary Committee members that are in your area.  See the list above for both companion bills – reference HSB575 to your representatives and SSB3064 to your senators.
Legislative Update January 26
The session is rolling full steam ahead, there is so much going on.  The budget is the next big hurdle on the big punch list.  Here are a few more of the bills that we are following, as of January 26.
HSB 542 – Statute of Limitations for Rent Judgements (Baltimore) – This bill eliminates the five-year statute of limitation period that a person has to collect rent pursuant to a judgment in an action on a claim for rent, but retains the two-year statute of limitation period applicable when a person sells or assigns for value a judgment or right to collect rent to a third party other than a state or federally chartered bank or credit union.
HBAI Supports
HSB 513 – Public Bidding by Board of Regents (Highfill) – This bill modifies the contract bidding process conducted by the state board of regents. Currently, when the estimated cost of construction, repairs, or improvement of buildings or grounds under charge of the state board of regents exceeds $100,000, the board of regents must advertise for bids for the contemplated work and shall let the work to the lowest responsible bidder. However, if in the judgment of the state board of regents bids received are not acceptable, the state board of regents may reject all bids and proceed with the work by a method as the state board of regents may determine.
HBAI Undecided
HSB 568 – Competitive Bidding Requirements for Certain Government Entities (Highfill) – The bill makes a contract for construction by a private party of a property to be leased or lease-purchased by the state of Iowa, a community college, or a public school corporation a contract for public improvement under Code section 26.2. The state of Iowa, a community college, or a public school corporation must therefore take competitive bids for renovations, repairs, or new construction on a property to be leased or lease-purchased that exceeds the competitive bid threshold set in Code section 26.3.
HBAI Supports
HF 648 – Career and Technical Education Programs (Appropriations) – The bill authorizes an approved regional career and technical education planning partnership to receive state funds for purposes allowed under Code section 258.14(6). The bill amends Code section 258.14(6) to authorize a partnership to purchase career and technical education equipment and standard classroom consumable supplies other than consumable supplies that will be made into products to be sold or used personally by students, teachers, and other persons. Federal funds received as a reimbursement for allowable expenditures shall be received pursuant to the multiyear state plan the state board for career and technical education approves under Code section 258.3A(1).
HBAI Supports
HF 2098 – Job Training Tax Credit Program (Jacoby) – This bill creates a job training tax credit program (program) administered by the economic development authority (EDA) in consultation with the department of revenue (DOR) to provide tax credits to businesses that employ for pay qualified trainees in Iowa during the tax year. To qualify as a “qualified trainee” under the program, a person must be an apprentice or an intern, must be employed by a business in Iowa, and must satisfy the relevant minimum training standard.
HBAI Supports
SSB 3039 – Mechanics Lien Language Correction (Zaun) – The bill provides that a lien statement may only be amended by leave of court in furtherance of justice or to decrease the amount demanded. An amendment to decrease the amount demanded must be accomplished through the mechanics’ notice and lien registry. The bill provides that amending a lien statement to decrease the amount demanded does not affect the priority of the lien statement. The bill also provides that a lien statement shall not be amended to increase the amount demanded.
The bill repeals Code section 26.13 (public construction bidding — early release of retained funds), creates new Code section 573.28 with the same language except for corrected internal references, and provides that the Code section no longer applies to all competitive bidding done pursuant to Code section 26.3 or 314.1.
HBAI Supports
SSB 3063 – Rule Adoption W/O Explicit Statutory or Judicial Authorization (Zaun) – The bill provides that in an action contesting a rule, standard, requirement, or threshold, the burden of proof shall be on the agency to demonstrate that the rule, standard, requirement, or threshold is explicitly required or explicitly permitted by a state statute or federal statute or regulation or is necessary to address the requirements of a court ruling specifically relating to the subject of the rule, standard, requirement, or threshold.
HBAI Supports
SSB 3064 and HSB575 – Notice to Repair Construction Defects (Zaun) – The bill proposes a new Code chapter which provides a mandatory dispute resolution process for construction defects to new property or improvements to an existing property.
HBAI Supports
SSB 3066 – Common Interest Communities (Zaun) – The bill provides that it is the public policy of the state that the management and affairs of common interest communities be conducted openly and that the new Code chapter is to be construed to provide open access to the management of the common interest community for the unit owners.
The bill establishes requirements and procedures for common interest communities, unit owners associations, and executive boards.
HBIA Undecided
SF 2053 – Real Estate Disclosure Statement for Topsoil Removal (Chelgren) – This bill requires that the disclosure statement indicate whether topsoil, as defined in the bill, has been removed from the property in the last 20 years. The bill exempts disclosure statements prepared for the transfer of agricultural land from the requirement.
HBIA Against
SF 2070 – Home Modification Grant (Zaun) – The bill makes a one-time appropriation of $600,000 from the general fund for FY 2019 to the Iowa finance authority to provide grants and to administer the program. (Ramps, lifts, elevators, handrails, etc.)
Under the bill, a qualified person is a person who is at least 65 years of age, is living with a disability, or has a chronic condition the progression of which will require a permanent modification to the qualified person’s residence.
HBAI Undecided
SF 2071 – Property Owners Exemption from Electrical and Plumbing Licensure (Zaun) – The bill replaces “principal residence” with “real property” for both exemptions, allowing a real property owner to perform such work on the owner’s real property, if the property meets specified circumstances, without having to obtain licensure under Code chapter 103 or 105. The bill also removes the requirement for a residence to qualify for the homestead tax exemption to have either exemption be applicable to a real property owner.
HBAI Undecided
Proposed Rule Would Enable Small Business Health Plans
The Department of Labor recently issued a proposed rule intended to expand access to health coverage by allowing more employers to form Small Business Health Plans, also known as Association Health Plans. These plans give small businesses access to better and more affordable health care options.
Safety Awareness Campaign
To support building industry professionals in obtaining the information and resources they need to help keep residential construction workers safe, NAHB has created a new member and public awareness campaign called Safety 365. The campaign is a joint effort of the NAHB Construction Safety Committee and Builders Mutual Insurance Co.
Economic Panel Predicts Housing Gains in 2018
The newly enacted tax law will create a more favorable tax climate for the business community, which should spur job and economic growth and keep single-family housing production on a gradual upward trajectory in 2018, according to economists participating in a panel discussion during the International Builders’ Show in Orlando.
Amazon Business & Capital One Member Advantage Programs
At the 2018 International Builders’ Show, NAHB launched two new Member Advantage programs: Amazon Business and Capital One Spark Business. These new programs are a part of NAHB’s Revenue Share Program where your State and Local Associations can earn non-dues revenue from your members’ usage of these programs. To learn more about these programs and to sign up for revenue share, make sure to visit nahb.org/matoolkit and click on the Sign up Now link.

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