As reported last month, Alaska HB 9 was introduced by Rep. Rokeberg January 21 and referred to the House Labor and Commerce Committee, the House Judiciary Committee and the House Finance Committee. Hearings were held January 29 by the Labor and Commerce Committee and February 5 by the Judiciary Committee. The House Finance Committee held a public hearing February 12. On February 20, the Finance Committee held a public hearing, amended HB 9, and recommended it be passed as amended. February 26 HB 9 passed the House by a vote of 24-11. HB 9 now goes to the Senate.
Indiana HB 1515 was introduced by Rep. Welch and referred to the House Committee on Commerce and Economic Development on January 16. A hearing was held February 6. HB 1515 was amended, favorably voted out of committee and referred to the Joint Ways and Means Committee, which held a hearing February 27 and recommended HB 1515 be passed as amended. The House must now vote on HB 1515.
Iowa SF 96 was introduced by Sen. Larson on February 5 and referred to a subcommittee of the Senate Commerce Committee. According to subcommittee member Sen. Schuerer, SF 96 is not likely to be passed out of committee. Reasons given were the impending budget crisis that Iowa faces and the potential drain on state funds that SF 96 could create. Though this bill is not officially dead, it is unlikely to move out of this committee.
Meanwhile, in the House, a companion bill to SF 96 was introduced the week of February 11. HF 162 was referred to a subcommittee of the House Committee on Commerce, Regulations and Labor. According to subcommittee member Rep. Watts, HF 162 is not likely to be passed out of committee for reasons similar to those preventing movement of SF 96. Similarly, this bill is not officially dead, but it will not likely be referred from the Commerce subcommittee.
Kansas HB 2100 was introduced January 29 and referred to the Judiciary Committee. A hearing on the bill was held February 4. According to the chairperson of the Judiciary Committee chair, HB 2100 was to be voted out of committee the week of February 17 in an effort to complete unfinished business. But, on February 18, the Committee amended HB 2100 and reported it out of committee, recommending passage as amended. HB 2100 now awaits action on the House floor.
Louisiana HB 176 was introduced February 26 by Rep. Bruneau. It has not yet been assigned to a committee. The bill would amend certain provisions of the Louisiana Home Inspector Licensing Law. It proposes changes in the time limits for membership of the Louisiana State Board of Home Inspectors and in the delivery of a written report from the home inspector to the client. It would also require the board to adopt and approve a licensing examination. The bill would allow the board to issue fines for violating the law, and provide for issuance of temporary restraining orders, and preliminary and permanent injunctions for violating the law.
Maryland SB 98 was introduced by the chairman of the Finance Committee, Sen. Middleton, January 22. The bill was referred to the Finance Committee, where no action was taken during a February 6 hearing. However, the Committee has “held” SB 98, because of unsatisfactory language, which it may seek to amend. The Finance Committee must remove the hold before this bill can progress any further.
Nebraska LB 767 was introduced by Sen. Bourne. It requires home inspectors to be licensed by the state, sets the duties and powers of the Home Inspector Regulatory Board, sets the fees for licensure, and allows for civil action against home inspectors. To qualify for a license, an applicant must complete a course of study of at least 60 hours that may include field work; pass an exam that meets “nationally recognized standards”; and carry general liability insurance and a surety bond. The bill provides for standards of practice and a code of ethics, and requires a written report. LB 767 was referred to the Health and Human Services Committee, which held a hearing on
February 13. As we went to press the Committee had taken no action on this bill.
New Jersey S 1685 was introduced in June 2002. It revises grandfathering provisions for eligibility to be a licensed home inspector. S 1685 revises the dates, time frames, and work experience required of those eligible to be grandfathered. This bill specifies that a person eligible for licensure under the grandfather provision shall have been engaged in the practice of home inspections for compensation for not less than 300 home inspections or for not less than 3 years prior to July 1, 2003. The bill was amended and passed unanimously out of the Senate in December. In January 2003, it was referred to the Assembly Regulated Professions and Independent Authorities Committee. On February 13 the Committee held a public hearing on S 1685 and the Committee favorably voted S1685 out of Committee.
Also reported previously, A 567, a companion bill to S 1685, was introduced January 8, 2002 by Rep. Impreveduto. It was reported to the Committee on Regulated Professions and Independent Authorities Committee. The Committee subsequently held a hearing January 9, 2003 and recommended passage of the bill as amended. On February 24 S 1685 replaced A 567, which is now “dead.” The Assembly then voted on S 1685, and it was passed by a vote of 56-17-2. S 1685 will now be sent back to the Senate, where the amended version of the bill must be approved.
New Mexico SB 589 was introduced the week of February 10 by Sen. Fidel, and referred to the Senate Corporations and Transportation Committee. It provides for the regulation and licensing of home inspectors, creates the Home Inspector Licensing Board, and sets the board’s duties and powers. The bill sets the licensing requirements for home inspectors. Applicants have to complete a course of study and acquire training set by the Board, and must pass the National Home Inspectors Examination. The bill includes standards of practice and a code of ethics, and it allows a client to recover damages for any act or omission of a home inspector relating to a home inspection within one year. It requires a home inspector to obtain insurance or file a bond with the board for expenses and liability resulting in errors and omission or from negligent performance. The Senate Committee on Corporations and Transportation held a hearing for SB 589 February 18. On February 26 the Committee recommended that SB 589 be passed. SB 589 now goes to the Finance Committee where it awaits further action.
North Dakota HB 1473 was introduced in January and referred to the House Committee on Industry, Business and Labor. February 3 the Committee held a hearing on the bill, but no action was taken. February 10 the Committee voted 13 to 1 to “not pass” HB 1473. The bill received its second reading in the House on February 12. The bill failed to pass by a vote of 6 yeas to 85 nays. This bill is “dead.”
New York A 00076 was introduced January 8 and referred to the Committee on Judiciary. Because of the high volume of bills in the House Judiciary Committee, it will never be given a formal hearing. Rather, the Judiciary Committee Chair, Rep. Helene E. Weinstein, will call for a vote on the bill, and it will be referred out of committee with a favorable or unfavorable recommendation. This action could occur at any time.
Oklahoma HB 1448 was introduced and referred to the Judiciary Committee in February. The bill relates to liens, stipulating that a statement including a home inspection report must accompany a lien. The Judiciary Committee held a hearing for HB 1448 February 17. HB 1448 died in the Judiciary Committee February 21, meaning the bill will no longer be active during this legislative session. However, Rep. Hamilton, the author of HB 1448, plans to reintroduce it next session, which begins in the next calendar year.
Tennessee SB 1620 is a bill that would amend current law by adding additional penalties to unauthorized persons performing home inspections. Under current law such performance is already recognized as a Class C misdemeanor. SB 1620 would further enable the director of the board for licensing contractors to issue citations and fines to unauthorized persons performing home inspection services. Senator Cooper introduced SB 1620 February 13. On February 19 it was referred to the Senate Committee on Commerce, Labor and Agriculture awaiting further action.
Rep. Cooper introduced HB 1589, a companion bill to SB 1620, February 24. It is identical to SB 1620. HB 1589 has not yet been referred to a House standing committee. This action must occur be-fore the bill can progress any further.
Utah SB 62 was introduced by Sen. Paula Julander in late January. The
bill clarifies the practice of home inspections by setting guidelines and definitions, listing exclusions and specifying written home inspection report requirements. It sets a code of ethics for home inspectors, makes home inspectors liable for home inspections not performed in compliance with the law, and limits the time in which a client may file a grievance.
The bill was referred to the Senate Government Operations and Political Subdivision Committee. A hearing was held February 6. On February 14 the Committee passed an amended version of the bill out of committee. The amended version made slight changes to the code of ethics. After a technical change was made to the bill, the Senate passed SB 62 February 20. The bill has been sent to the House for consideration.
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