West Virginia passed a new law that regulates the certification of home inspectors, bringing the number of states regulating inspectors to 31.
An active coalition of ASHI, the National Association of Home Inspectors (NAHI) and the West Virginia Association of Home Inspectors (WVAHI) members has been lobbying for this law for two years. ASHI’s Legislative Committee joined the effort by sending correspondence to key lawmakers at the behest of the coalition.
The goals of the new law are to protect the public by establishing decent competency requirements and to elevate the profession. It is scheduled to go into effect on July 1, and, unless something drastic happens, it will accomplish the goals.
We graded the new law according to the ASHI Position Statement on Regulation of Home Inspectors and gave it a Good grade, putting it in the top half of all laws nationwide. Highlights include passing the National Home Inspector Examination or an equivalent exam, Standards of Practice similar to ASHI’s, Prohibited Acts that include no offer of repair work for at least one year after the inspection and no preferred vendor arrangements, and 16 hours of continuing education per year.
Congratulations to the dedicated members and all honorable inspectors in West Virginia who worked so hard for the past two years to achieve a good regulation. State sessions wind down
By the time you read this, column legislative sessions will have ended in 34 states: Alaska, Alabama, Arizona, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Iowa, Idaho, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Maine, Minnesota, Missouri, Mississippi, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Utah, Virginia, Vermont, Washington, Wisconsin, West Virginia and Wyoming. In addition, Arkansas, Montana, North Dakota, Nevada, Oregon and Texas had no regular 2006 sessions. But some are still in session
Inspectors in California, Illinois, Massachusetts, Michigan, New Jersey, New York, Ohio and Pennsylvania need to keep their guard up. We know for a fact that licensing laws are filed and could move quickly at any time in Michigan and Ohio. And, anything can happen in the other states. Get ready for next year
If your state is no longer in session, that’s no excuse to take the rest of the year off until next January. Legislation is similar to most professional sports— there’s never really an off-season. You’re not in school any more, so you don’t get to take summer vacation. Three-quarters of the state legislative chambers permit pre-filing of bills. The purpose of pre-filing is to streamline the process so that on the first day of a session, there will be a number of bills ready for introduction and assignment to committee.
Don’t be caught off guard. Find out when your state allows pre-filing to begin. You should be working now to get your ducks in a row. If you backed legislation that died, you need to re-establish your ties to sponsoring legislators. If you opposed legislation that could make a Lazarus-like return, the same applies.
All your chapter members should be communicating with their elected officials. When you need a favor is not the optimal time to make their acquaintances. You should be building your coalitions, networking with other players (Realtors®, builders, etc.) and evaluating your professional lobbyist’s performance. Proper preparation now will go a long way toward accomplishing goals in the 2007/08 sessions.