Brokelahoma

If all your REALTOR® does is sell houses… then they’re doing it wrong.

It is critically important that the collective voices of REALTOR® members unite at our state’s Capitol to advocate for the rights of property ownership. While REALTORS® first priority is to sell houses, their next priority is to protect the industry and the rights of home ownership. Like they say, there is strength in numbers.

My first legislative session in the state of Oklahoma was a doozie. Everything from divided priorities, to some people irrationally throwing in the towel, to oddities thrown at us from left field… it was a crazy session and I am glad to hear it when people tell me that it is not normally like this. Nonetheless, lessons have been learned, better planning is in progress, and I/we have survived and the 56th Oklahoma Legislature that has come to a close and adjourned “Sine Die” being just the fancy Latin word for “adjournment” of the legislature. And although slightly beat up, I did not die. 😬

Unfortunately, the state of Oklahoma is broke when it comes to our budget.

Many of our important bills, relating to home ownership, had to take a back seat to fixing the budget. Luckily, we will be able to bring a few of them back next session, so do not feel defeated.

I will be writing more on the updates of our legislative priorities and where we are over the next few months, but in the meantime, here is the message we sent to our membership, ICYMI (in case you missed it).

As the Oklahoma Legislature adjourns sine die, we want to provide you with an update on the final status of our key issues.

Our Homebuyers Savings Account Act was pulled from committee today, so that we may bring this bill back next year. While we very much wanted to have this measure signed into law, the bill was a shell of it’s former self, as many of the tax benefits were stripped away to minimize any fiscal impact. We want to thank our authors, Representative Josh Cockroft and Senator Jason Smalley, for working with us on this measure. We are excited for the future, as we plan to bring this bill back next year, and work to promote homeownership in Oklahoma.

This session, the legislature faced a monumental task of balancing the budget. The budget took higher priority over the last few weeks of session, and stalled the progress of many bills, including some of our own. Our e-notary measure died awaiting a hearing in the Senate Judiciary committee. We will work in the interim to reassess this measure and create a strategy to move forward.

A bill to support the creation of a registry for teams and also update broker licensure, was signed into law on May 12, 2017. This joint effort between the Oklahoma Real Estate Commission and the Oklahoma Association of REALTORS® will help provide additional protections to the public, and is a win for all REALTORS® and licensees alike.

Finally, we are very happy to report that HB 2403, which would have capped the amount of deductions one could itemize, is dead. The measure was an effort that could have had a negative impact on homeowners, as it effectively would have capped the mortgage interest deduction. Thanks to your efforts, the legislature received almost 1,500 contacts from REALTORS® in a matter of days. There is no doubt that REALTORS® involvement makes a difference at our Capitol.

We want to thank our lobby team for their tireless efforts this year. Richard Phillips, Karel Brewster, and Mike Craddock all did an excellent job of fighting to protect private property rights on behalf of all Oklahoma REALTORS® along with staff, Jessica Leigh Dietrich. Also thank you to our OAR President, Pete Galbraith, and OAR Gov Affairs Chair, Chuck Perry for your support.

Stay tuned for our final Capitol Insider of 2017, which will be available next week!

Sincerely,

JESSICA M. HICKOK, GRI RCE
Chief Executive Officer
Oklahoma Association of REALTORS®
9807 N Broadway Ext,
Oklahoma City, OK 73114-6312
405.848.9944 | info@okrealtors.com

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