Legislative News
February 17, 2017
Legislative Briefing
This week, the House and Senate took up a number appropriation bills on the floor.  Next Wednesday will be the deadline to pass appropriation and revenue bills out of their original chambers.
On Thursday, the legislators received an economic update provided through the s tate economist Darrin Webb and Deputy Treasurer Jesse Graham. The information included housing statistics and information. Click here for a copy of the report.

Meanwhile, all of the general bills that made it past their original chambers will be transferred to the other chamber for discussion. As of this writing, only a few bills have been referred to committees.  Click here for the bills we are following.

The week in review:

SB 2944- Tax Legislation 
This week, HBAM staff and partners met with Lt. Governor Reeves to provide explanation for SB 2944, which is the legislation that would clarify tax rules relating to repair work. 

The bill is assigned to the Senate Finance committee. We hope it will make it to the committee agenda Tuesday. This legislation is very important to ensure that the tax laws are clear.   Click here to see a list of the Senate Finance committee members.  Please look over this list. If you have a Senator on the Finance committee, please let them know that we need support on the bill. 

SB 2855- Licensure Bill
SB 2855 will now go to the House for consideration. HBAM will let members know once it is assigned to a committee. The bill does three things:

1. Contains subcontractor licensure requirements for HVAC, gas, plumbing mechanical and electrical work for safety purposes 
2. Would require licensure for solar panel installation
3. Clarify licensure standards when filing lawsuits or seeking compensation for work

HBAM supports this bill to promote safety, quality workmanship for consumers and to clarify license standards.  Click here for a copy of the briefing paper.  

HB 1076- Growth and Prosperity Act
HB 1076 is waiting to be assigned in the Senate. The legislation currently brings forward a number of statutes, including the building code sections. HBAM has been assured that the building codes will be removed from the bill but there are still a number of code sections that could affect zoning, water, sewer and parking . The intent of the bill is to supposedly create additional economic development options for counties under the current Growth and Prosperity Act Program (GAP). The bill would possibly selectively waive state regulations related to zoning  and other selected areas in small areas of the state. HBAM will closely monitor this legislation as it goes to the Senate.

HB 1601/SB 2439- First Time Home Buyers Savings Account
The Realtors Association introduced two bills (HB 1601 and SB 2439) for first-time home buyer savings accounts that can be used for saving funds for the purchase of homes by first-time home buyers. Money in the account is required to be used solely for the down payment and closing costs for the purchase of a home by a first-time home buyer.  The Realtors Association has research to back up the legislation that estimates a significant impact on the economy, new home sales and job growth. Click here to view the MS Realtor's fact sheet on the legislation.

HB 1601 is in the Ways and Means committee and may come up for consideration early this week. HBAM supports this legislation for first time home buyers and to support employment opportunities and economic growth.

SB 2938- Historic Preservation Tax Incentives
Mississippi's historic preservation tax incentive program was extended last session. The incentives are used to help foster the rehabilitation of historic structures for residential or business purposes. Unfortunately, single family homes were carved out at the last minute.  HBAM would support this legislation to add residential homes back into the historical structure tax incentive program. The bill needs to be taken up in the Finance committee by Wednesday.
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