Legislative News  March 24, 2017
Legislative Briefing
During the conference weekend, legislators will work on a number of bills, including the state appropriations. HBAM will be monitoring some of the appropriation bills, including the Department of Health that oversees the wastewater program and the MS Board of Contractors that oversees residential and commercial builder licenses. We are also watching a bill in conference that could provide governor/oversight committee authority over licensing boards (HB 1425). Following conference weekend, legislators will make final considerations next week. Sine Die is Sunday, April 2 nd .

This session, HBAM was able to defeat a number of bills that would have had a negative impact on home builders but we also were able to support legislative progress for housing, which included the bill to set up a savings program for first time home buyers. The association has also been working on tax clarification for installation/repair rules this session. 

Next week, we will send a recap for the entire session and it will be the final report for the year.
SB 2944- Installation Tax L egislation Goes to Conference/ HBAM Works on Directive with the Department of Revenue
SB 2944, the legislation that relates to taxes on repair work passed the House and Senate with a "reverse repealer", and it was assigned to conference.  The legislation was introduced as a possible way to seek clarification to installation and repair work and to provide a definition of repairs. While the vehicle is still alive, HBAM is now working with the Department of Revenue (DOR) on a directive as a possible alternative to the legislation. 

In a hearing last week, the DOR  explained their concerns with the legislation and discussed alternative solutions.  HBAM was represented by Jones Walker, LLP law firm in the hearing.  From that meeting, the Department agreed to provide direction to help clarify the process. HBAM will keep everyone posted on this important issue as we move forward.
HB 1601- First Time Home Buyers Savings Account Bill Signed by Governor (Support- Passed)
HB 1601, the First Time Home Buyers Savings Account bill, was signed by Governor Bryant this week. This legislation is a great step for Mississippi's first time home buyers and will have  a positive impact on home builders.

The MS Association of Realtors, supported by a coalition of housing partners, (including HBAM) lobbied for this legislation to help first time home buyers through a tax credit and savings program. The bill will have a significant impact on the economy and will help first time home buyers realize their dream of home ownership. Ultimately, this legislation will create over 688 new jobs and approximately $28,841,463 in personal earnings. An estimated 379 homes will need to be build to help meet the demand.

Senate Bill 2689- Campaign Finance Reform - (Monitored- On Governor's Desk) 
After two years of debate, the Senate and House reach a compromise on campaign finance reform with SB 2689. The legislation contains the Senate's language that places tougher restrictions on campaign finance spending, and what constitutes personal use, and the House's enforcement language, which would allow the spending to be overseen by the Ethics Commission. The law will go into effect on January 1, 2018. Revenue collected between now and the start date will be exempt from the new law.

HB 694- Home Builder Car Tag- (Support) 
HBAM is working to add language to the car tag bill that would initiate a special Home Builders Association tag to benefit the Habitat for Humanity in Mississippi. The bill language, which will be added in conference, will come up this weekend for determination. The bill would promote and advertise the Home Builders Association and will help provide affordable housing to Mississippians. 
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Build PAC is critical to the Home Builders Association of Mississippi's success in pursuing pro-housing and pro-business issues at the legislature because:

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