With the close of the third full week (and fourth week overall) of the General Assembly Session, the House of Delegates and State Senate are moving to completing work on their respective bills. Many subcommittee and some full committee meeting have been cancelled as they have already completed their full docket of bills.
“Crossover Day” is looming. By midnight, February 5th, each House must complete consideration of their respective bills or any outstanding legislation will die. There is the rare opportunity for a bill to be brought back after crossover, but it is very unusual.
The two “proffer bills” are moving quickly through the legislative process;
HB 2342 – Delegate Bob Thomas
Makes extensive changes to conditional zoning provision first enacted in 2016. Specific amendments include provisions stating that no locality shall “require” any unreasonable proffer. Under current law, no locality may “request or accept” any unreasonable proffer. Provides additional changes to current law as well.
The bill was reported, with amendments, from the House Cities, Counties and Towns Subcommittee #2 by a vote of 6 Yeas (Y) to 1 Nay (N).
The bill was then reported with substitute by the full Cities, Counties and Towns Committee by a vote of 18 Y – 2 N. The bill was then sent to the floor for consideration by the full House of Delegates next week.
HB 2342 passed the House this week by a vote of 90 Y – 7 N and will now be sent to the Senate for consideration there.
SB 1373 – Senator Barbara Favola
The bill also makes extensive changes to conditional zoning provisions first enacted in 2016. Specific amendments include the addition of provisions stating that no local governing body shall require any unreasonable proffer. Under current law, no locality may request or accept any unreasonable proffer. Provides additional changes to law as well.
The bill was reported from the Committee on Local Government with a substitute by a vote of 11 Y – 2 N.
The bill also incorporates SB 1524 – Senator Dick Black which similarly makes extensive changes to conditional zoning provisions first enacted in 2016.
The bill was then sent to the floor for consideration by the full Senate next week.
The Senate passed SB 1373 by a vote of 29 Y – 10 N – 1 abstain (A). It was subsequently sent to the House for consideration and has been assigned to the Cities, Counties and Towns Committee.
Some of the other priority legislation for Virginia Realtors includes the following;
HB 2385 – Delegate David Bulova
A recent court ruling raised the question of whether the delivery of an “incomplete” disclosure packet in a Property Owners Association (POA) or resale certificate in a Condo Owners Association (COA) begins a buyer’s ability to cancel the contract within the three day right of rescission.
This bill, if enacted, would clarify that the delivery of an “incomplete” packet begins the three-day right of rescission. The standard will provide more certainty to both buyers and sellers.
The bill was referred to the Committee on General Laws and assigned to Subcommittee #2.
The bill was reported from Subcommittee #2 by a vote of 8 Y – 0 N. It will next be considered by the full Committee on General Laws.
The House General Laws Committee reported the bill by a vote of 22 Y – O N. The bill will now move to the floor for consideration by the full House of Delegates.
The House of Delegates passed HB 2385 by a vote of 99 Y – 0 N. The bill will now move to the Senate for consideration.
SB 1292 – Senator Jill Vogel
Referred to the Committee on Courts of Justice
In certain real estate transactions, mineral rights may be associated with property that do not necessarily transfer with the purchase of the land, but rather are held as separate owner interests.
This legislation, if enacted, would add “mineral rights” to the Residential Property Disclosure Statement buyer beware form that each potential buyer receives in a real estate transaction.
This notice will encourage buyers to perform due diligence regarding mineral rights associated with the property.
The Committee on Courts of Justice took no action on SB 1292 this week.
The Committee on Courts of Justice reported SB 1292 by a vote of 13 Y – 0 N. The bill now moves to the floor for consideration by the full Senate.
The full Senate passed SB 1292 by a vote of 40 Y – 0 N. The bill now moves to the House of Delegates for consideration and has been assigned to the General Laws Committee.
HB 2218 – Delegate Jeff Bourne
Currently only local Commonwealth Attorneys have the authority to prosecute unlicensed real
estate activity. Enforcement of unlicensed activity is often secondary to more serious criminal prosecutions.
This bill, if enacted would add unlicensed real estate activity to the Virginia Consumer Protection Act to allow for greater consumer protection against this illegal activity. Under the Consumer Protection Act, local government attorneys or individual citizens can bring civil action against individuals participating in unlicensed activity.
HB 2218 was referred to the Committee on Commerce & Labor and assigned to Subcommittee #2.
Subcommittee # 2 reported the bill by a vote of 6 Y – 0 N. The bill was subsequently considered by the full Committee on Commerce & Labor and was reported by a vote of 19 Y – 0 N.
HB 2218 will now move to the floor for consideration by the full House of Delegates.
HB 2352 – Delegate Jason Miyares
SB 1061 – Senator Monty Mason
This legislation seeks to clarify that a real estate licensee can hire an unlicensed assistant as an employee or as an independent contractor. It would allow the Virginia Real Estate Board to define what duties an unlicensed assistant can legally undertake, regardless of whether they are an independent contractor or an employee.
HB 2352 was referred to the Committee on General Laws and assigned to Subcommittee # 2.
The Subcommittee reported the bill as amended by a vote of 8 Y – 0 N.
The bill will now move to the full Committee on General Laws for their consideration.
The Committee on General Laws reported HB 2352 by a vote of 22 Y – 0 N. The bill now moves to the floor for consideration by the full House of Delegates.
HB 2352 was passed by the full House of Delegates by a vote of 99 Y – 0 N.
The bill will now be sent to the Senate for consideration.
SB 1061 was reported by the Committee on General Laws and Technology by a vote of 12 Y – 0 N. The bill was subsequently sent to the floor and passed the Senate by a vote of 40 Y – 0 N.
The bill will be sent to the House of Delegates for their consideration after crossover day.
Many thanks to President Jim Croson, Michael Hill, Peggy Burke and CEO April Thomas for traveling with other Northern Virginia Realtors to participate in Legislative Day. We had presentations from Lieutenant Governor Justin Fairfax, Attorney General Mark Herring and several Northern Virginia Legislators. Realtors then had the opportunity to view a session of both the state Senate and House of Delegates from the gallery. Afterward there was an opportunity to meet in small groups with individual legislators. Overall, a very successful day that was not limited by the snowstorm!
In addition, other bills that could impact Virginia REALTORS may be offered prior to “crossover day” and we will keep you updated on their status.
Listed below are several resources to help you navigate the legislative session. You will find the resources to help determine who your elected representative is and how to contact them, how to determine who serves on which committees, as well as when our legislative priorities will be considered. If you care to do so, you can even watch online as these meeting take place!
John Stirrup serves as our full-time representative in Richmond and advocates on our behalf. Should you have any questions about legislation, the legislative process, Virginia REALTORS legislative priorities or plan to visit the General Assembly during session, he can be reached by email at.