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May 2019

Government Affairs Update for May 31, 2019

TAKE ACTION – Oppose “Good Cause Eviction” and rent control bill
The State Legislature is considering legislation (S.2892-A-Salazar/A.5030-A-Hunter) that would establish a good cause eviction standard throughout New York State. This new bill would restrict the ability of a landlord to evict a tenant, even in the case of an expired lease. The proposal would also effectively cap annual rent increases at 1.5 times the regional Consumer Price Index in all rental properties except for owner-occupied properties with less than four units. This proposal would discourage real estate investment at a time when New York State should be creating more incentives to attract people, businesses, and investment. Take Action today.

Albany lawmakers debating end-of-session issues
Albany lawmakers could address a host of outstanding end-of-session issues in a single omnibus bill. The last day of the legislative session Is scheduled for June 19. Combining issues to be passed in one vote is not uncommon. Issues that are still being debated that could be included in an omnibus bill include expansion of rent control, imposing a “Good Cause Eviction” standard statewide, legalization of marijuana, mobile sports betting, and allowing undocumented immigrants to obtain a driver’s license. Read more here.

NYSAR meets with Assembly Housing Chair on coop transparency
On Wednesday, NYSAR staff met with Assembly Housing Committee Chair Steven Cymbrowitz (D-Brooklyn) and Assembly counsel to advocate for the advancement of legislation (A.6194/S.4677) to provide greater transparency in the cooperative housing application process. NYSAR continues to have productive meetings on this legislation as this bill remains a top legislative priority.

NFIP needs renewal by end of month
The National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) is set to expire at the end of May. If approved by Congress, the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) would get its 11th temporary extension since Sept. 30, 2017, however, it is unclear when Congress will reach a deal. The Senate passed a $19 billion disaster aid package that included the NFIP extension, but it was stalled in the House last week. Meanwhile, the House voted to extend NFIP earlier this month, which is separate from the disaster package. Read more here.

Government Affairs Update for May 24, 2019

WNY State Sen. Jacobs announces primary run against Rep. Collins
Republican State Senator Chris Jacobs of Buffalo announced last week that he will challenge Republican Congressman Chris Collins for the 27thCongressional District seat in 2020. Rep. Collins is currently under federal indictment for insider trading. Democratic Assemblyman Sean Ryan expressed his interest in running for Senator Jacobs’ seat following the announcement.

New continuing education bill advances in Assembly Judiciary Committee
NYSAR-supported legislation (A.6082/S.3839) was approved unanimously on Tuesday by the Assembly Judiciary Committee following advocacy efforts during NYSAR’s Lobby Day in Albany two weeks ago. The bill, which would expand core CE requirements for all real estate licensees and eliminate the “grandfathering” exemption for CE, has already been advanced in the Senate and could be considered for a possible vote on the floor in both houses. NYSAR will continue to provide updates on any progress of the bill.

The Buffalo News
Editorial Board comes out against Statewide Rent Control
“Shoehorning New York City regulations into all of upstate doesn’t make sense,” writes The Buffalo News Editorial Board, which published its concerns over proposals to expand New York City rent regulations statewide and impose a “good cause eviction” standard that would prohibit eviction for rent increases of more than 1.5 times the local rate of inflation. NYSAR submitted written testimony to the State Assembly and Senate expressing similar concerns. Current rent control and stabilization laws are set to expire June 15.

Government Affairs Update for May 17, 2019

NYSAR members meet with U.S. Senate and House members on REALTOR® issues
NYSAR members attending this year’s NAR Legislative Meetings in Washington, D.C. met with Senators Chuck Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand, as well as their respective members of the House of Representatives on Wednesday to discuss critical REALTOR® issues including the extension of the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), Tax Reform, the importance of Mortgage Debt Forgiveness, affordable housing and more. Advocacy materials and issue summaries are available here.

NYS rejects natural gas pipeline project initial application
The state Department of Environmental Conservation denied the application by Williams Transco for the Northeast Supply Enhancement (NESE) project, a nearly $1 billion undersea pipeline contracted by National Grid to increase gas supply to the region by 14 percent. Williams Transco cited technical issues in their application and will be resubmitting it to address DEC’s concerns over water quality. The project promises to bring an additional 400 million cubic feet of gas per day to Long Island and the metropolitan region, addressing what National Grid said is a critical shortage of supply. The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) gave its approval on May 3. New Jersey has yet to rule on a water permit for the pipeline, a decision expected by June 20. Read more here.

House passes bill to extend NFIP through September 30
The House of Representatives passed a bill to extend the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) through September 30, 2019. House Financial Services Committee Chair Maxine Waters (D-CA) carried the bill. NAR continues to urge Congress to pass a long-term reauthorization of the NFIP with meaningful reforms that open the door to private flood insurance and modernize flood mapping and mitigation investments.

NYC Mayor de Blasio enters race for President
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio announced on Thursday that he is running for President. He becomes the 23rd Democrat to enter the race. Read more here.

Government Affairs Update for May 10, 2019

Record attendance at NYSAR Lobby Day in Albany
A record number of REALTORS® from across the state converged on Albany to take part in NYSAR’s annual Lobby Day at the capitol. Well over 300 REALTORS® were welcomed to Albany by State Senator Shelley Mayer (D-Westchester), who has been a long-time supporter of REALTOR® issues, then briefed on this year’s legislative agenda by NYSAR Government Affairs Director Mike Kelly. NYSAR President Moses Seuram, Vice-President Jennifer Stevenson, Secretary/Treasurer David Legaz and Legislative Steering Committee Chair Tom McCarthy met with State Senate and Assembly leadership to advocate for greater transparency in the application process for cooperative apartments, expansion of continuing education requirements for all real estate licensees, enacting a first-time home buyer savings account program, and to express concerns with any statewide expansion of New York City-style rent regulations. Throughout the day, REALTORS® from all regions of the state held productive meetings with their respective state lawmakers to update them on state and local issues. Check back to NYSAR.com for photos and videos from the day’s events.

NYSAR will reimburse individual members up to $150 for travel and lodging expenses. You must submit receipts and complete the NYSAR reimbursement form HERE. Email the completed form with copies of your receipts to Leanne Little at [email protected].

NYSAR attends Assembly public hearing on rent and tenant reforms
On Thursday, May 9, NYSAR attended a public hearing held by the State Assembly on rent and tenant reforms. NYSAR submitted written comment urging state lawmakers to delay action on any form of rent controls outside of New York City. REALTORS® have concerns with the implementation of a statewide rent control program and its impact on upstate communities. You can read NYSAR’s written testimony HERE.. The next Assembly hearing is scheduled for Friday, May 10, at 11 a.m. in Rochester. You can watch the Assembly hearing live or taped recordings of all the hearings. The State Senate has also scheduled hearings on rent and tenant reforms for May 16, 22 and 23 in Brooklyn, Albany, and Newburgh.

Government Affairs Update for May 3, 2019

REALTOR® Lobby Day in Albany is Tuesday, May 7, 2019
All REALTORS® are welcome to attend NYSAR’s Annual Lobby Day in the Albany Empire State Plaza (Concourse – Meeting Room 6) beginning at 8 a.m. on Tuesday, May 7, 2019. Our morning’s guest speaker will be Senator Shelley Mayer (D-Westchester). NYSAR will provide breakfast and lunch and lobbying materials, and will reimburse individual members up to $150 for travel and lodging expenses. You can email [email protected] with any questions.

State Guidance issued on new Appraisal Management Company law
New York State legislation regulating Appraisal Management Companies (AMC’s) went into effect on April 27, 2019. The New York Department of State has issued a guidance document that provides clarification and a list, although not exhaustive, of when AMC’s are permitted to hire non-licensed or non-certified appraisers under the new law including activities by real estate brokers and salespersons. NYSAR engaged the Department of State and advocated for clarification and continued permissibility of licensed real estate professionals to perform certain property valuation tasks, such as Broker Price Opinions. NYSAR is continuing to work with the Department of State and state lawmakers on this issue.

NYSAR works to advance cooperative transparency bill
NYSAR staff met with State Senator Brian Kavanagh’s legislative staff to discuss the importance of legislation (S.4677/A.6194) to require a timeline for cooperative boards to act on prospective buyer applications. Senator Kavanagh is Chair of Senate Housing Committee and is the prime-sponsor of this NYSAR-supported bill. Support to advance this bill will also be a focus of NYSAR’s upcoming Lobby Day.