Volume 6, Issue 2: January 18, 2013
The first session of the 147th THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY
The 147th General
Assembly began on Jan 8th. They meet Tuesday through Thursday with
Committee meetings on Wednesday. The General Assembly consists of Senate and
House members. The
General Assembly is in session from the second Tuesday in January through June
30 each year. They break for six week (Jan 26-March 7) for Joint Finance budget
hearings. They also break for two week in April (April 2-11) and two weeks in
May (May 21-30) for budget mark up. You
can keep track of legislation, committees, etc. by going to www.legis.delaware.gov.
There are 21 members of the
Senate (13 Democrats and 8 Republicans). The President Pro Tem is Patricia
leads the Senate. Other Senate leadership includes
David McBride as Majority Leader, Margaret Rose Henry as Majority Whip, Gary
Simpson as Minority Leader and Greg Lavelle as Minority Whip. Here
is a list of the Senate members.
The House of
Representatives has 41 members (27 Democrats and 14 Republicans). Pete
Schwartzkopf, The Speaker of the House, presides over the body. Other House
Leadership includes Valerie Longhurst as
Majority Leader, John Viola as Majority Whip, Dan Short as Minority Leader and
Deborah Hudson as Minority Whip. You
can find the House membership here.
three weeks have been busy looking at ways to make our schools safer, a
temporary solution to allow slot machines for a fraternal or veterans
organization, a task force to look at the increases in Worker’s Compensation for
businesses and Senate Bill #3 that says, “ Act to require the Diamond State
Port Corporation to obtain the approval of a majority Assembly and the
Governor, through the passage of legislation, before entering into any
agreement or transaction whereby the Corporation would transfer, sell,
privatize, or lease all or substantially all of the Port of Wilmington to a
single entity, or to a related group of entities.”
MARKELL’S 2014 BUDGET
has proposed his 2014 budget. A few of the new initiatives include expanding
in-school behavioral health services, grant money to target prevention programs
for youth, accelerate development of school safety plans and adding 6 more
state police. Decreases include no state salary increases, reductions for the Transportation
Trust Fund, grant-in Aid, open space and others. Tax increases that were set to
sunset have been adjusted. The budget can be found at: http://budget.delaware.gov/fy2014/budget2014.shtml
finalized changes to our Commercial Lien Bill and it will be introduced and
placed in Committee when they come back in session after the Joint Finance
meetings in March.
DAR has a
new member benefit, dotloop, online software that allows real estate agents, buyers and sellers to
complete the transaction process from offer to close, all in one place. The
target live date is February 7. You have and will receive several emails from
dotloop explaining the process and training dates. We hope this will help
members streamline their transaction process and reduce paperwork. The benefit
is free to all members.
Sales End 2012 up 9.2 Percent
eased in December but for the year sales ended well above a year ago, NAR
says. Total sales in 2012 were the highest in five years, while the annual
price rose the most since 2005. Total existing-home sales declined 1 percent to
a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.94 million in December from a downwardly
revised 4.99 million in November, but are 12.8 percent above the 4.38
million-unit level in December 2011. The preliminary annual total for
existing-home sales in 2012 was 4.65 million, up 9.2 percent from 4.26 million
in 2011. It was the highest volume since 2007, when it reached 5.03 million and
the strongest increase since 2004. More.
Court Case Raises Takings Issue
NAR is watching a
U.S. Supreme Court property rights case that looks at the conditions agencies
impose on property owners in exchange for allowing development in a regulated
area. In Koontz v. St. Johns River Water Management District, a property owner
believes he’s owed compensation after the regulating agency declined to grant
him a permit to develop in a wetlands after he wouldn’t agree to certain
conditions. A decision is expected in the spring. For more info contact Russell Riggs.
Regulate High-Interest Rate Loans
Creditors will have
to have a complete report on a physical inspection of the property by a
licensed or certified appraiser when making high-interest rate home loans, the
federal government says in final rules
released by banking regulators. The rules implement changes in the big Wall
Street reform act enacted three years ago and set out requirements for
protecting consumers of high-priced loans. The rules exempt certain loans and
include provisions to protect against fraudulent property flipping. Effective
date is January 18, 2014. For more info contact Sarah Young.
Legislative and Regulatory Year in Review
Your national association had a number of significant accomplishments in the
Beltway and beyond during 2012. Review them
all in this presentation at REALTOR.org.
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