Menu

June 2018 Government Affairs Update Archive

Government Affairs Update for June 29, 2018

 

New York's Congressional primary results include an upset
Wednesday’s New York State Congressional primary election featured an upset defeat of Democratic Rep. Joseph Crowley (NY-14) of Queens and several first-time candidates taking down political veterans in crowded Democratic fields. Democratic incumbents Reps. Yvette Clarke (NY-9) and Carolyn Maloney (NY-12) faced serious challengers, ultimately winning their races. A common denominator among the races throughout the state was low voter turnout. Click here for a snapshot of some of the more competitive primary races from Tuesday. Many of the other incumbents ran unopposed. A full list of Congressional primary results can be found here.
 
Federal Call for Action – Reauthorization of National Flood Insurance Program
Please respond to this important Call for Action urging Congress to reauthorize the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) before the July 31, 2018 expiration deadline. NAR has been advocating for a long-term reauthorization of the program along with needed reforms. To answer Calls for Action via text message, text the word “NYREALTOR” to 30644. 
 
To curb Illegal Airbnbs, New York City wants to collect data on hosts
The NYC Council held a hearing on a bill introduced by Councilmember Carlina Rivera that would require online rental services, like Airbnb, to disclose the addresses of its listings and the identities of its hosts to the city’s Office of Special Enforcement on a monthly basis. Hosts would also have to list whether the dwelling was their primary residence and whether the entire unit or a portion was available for short-term rentals. Companies that fail to share the data would be fined up to $25,000 for each listing they did not disclose. Under state law, it is illegal in most buildings to rent an apartment for fewer than 30 days unless the owner is present when a guest is renting. Read more here.

NYC Council to introduce bill to facilitate expansion of legal basement apartments
According to Politico, the NYC Councilmember Brad Lander will introduce a bill to establish a three-year program in East New York, Brooklyn, that would waive certain Department of Buildings fees to facilitate the conversions of basements into legal rental units for residents not earning more than 165% of the area median income. Mayor Bill de Blasio allocated $11.7 million over three years for this program in February and anticipates it would enable the conversion of up to 5,000 basement apartments.

NYC Rent Guidelines Board approves rent increases on rent stabilized apartments
New York City’s Rent Guidelines Board voted to approve rent increases for rent-stabilized apartments by 1.5 percent for one-year leases and by 2.5 percent for two-year leases. . The 5-4 vote comes after a preliminary vote in April. The rent increases for roughly 1 million rent stabilized apartments in New York City will go into effect on Oct. 1, 2018.
 

 

Government Affairs Update for June 22, 2018

NYSAR-supported legislation passes on last day of session
The state Assembly ended their session late Wednesday, with the Senate gaveling out early Thursday morning. NYSAR was pleased to see a bill it strongly supported allowing appraisal management companies to continue operating in New York in accordance with new federal guidelines passed both the Assembly and Senate on the last day of session. It now awaits the governor’s consideration. Bills which NYSAR opposed, including a prevailing wage expansion bill that would raise costs of private construction and a bill to impose an additional real estate transfer tax in the Town of Chester in Orange County, failed to pass. The state Legislature failed to come to an agreement on other big-ticket items such as sports betting, gun-control measures, ethics reforms, teacher evaluations and speed cameras before leaving for the year. Learn more.
 
Federal Call for Action – Reauthorization of National Flood Insurance Program
Please respond to this important Call for Action urging Congress to reauthorize the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) before the July 31, 2018 expiration deadline. NAR has been advocating for a long-term reauthorization of the program along with needed reforms. To answer Calls for Action via text message, text the word “NYREALTOR” to 30644. 
 
NAR applauds rule making REALTORS eligible to participate in association health plans
The U.S Department of Labor finalized its rule to expand the definition of “employer” to include “working owners,” allowing real estate professionals and other self-employed individuals to participate in association health plans. The ruling also makes AHPs available to independent contractors who are offered coverage through a spouse, the current source of coverage for roughly 40 percent of REALTORS. NAR CEO Bob Goldberg said, “NAR applauds the DOL for the latest rulemaking and hopes that legal and other challenges do not extensively delay the rule’s implementation and future enrollment periods. NAR has already begun work with health insurance experts and providers on potential next steps to help secure high-quality health insurance for all of our members and their families.” Learn more.

Accurate Flood Zone Determinations Webinar - What You Need to Know on June 25 
Flood zone errors and confusion are rampant, and real estate agents need to know what information they can really count on! Join one of the upcoming MyFloodStatus webinars to learn about their low-cost, pinpoint accurate, insured flood determination reports and the discount pricing you receive with your NYSAR membership. Register now for the upcoming webinar scheduled for June 25 at 9:30 a.m.

 

Government Affairs Update for June 15, 2018 

NAR to issue federal Call for Action to reauthorize flood insurance 
 NAR will launch an important Call for Action on Monday urging Congress to reauthorize the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) before the July 31, 2018 expiration deadline. You will receive an email and/or text message asking for your participation. To answer CFAs via text message, text the word “NYREALTOR” to 30644. 

Take action now - Legislation would increase costs of building affordable housing and economic development projects in New York
NYSAR is opposing state legislation mandating increased construction costs for affordable housing and other economic development projects. Construction costs in New York State are already among the highest in the nation. The state Senate is currently considering amending the bill to address some of these concerns. Learn more and answer this Call for Action here.

Bank deregulation bill becomes law
President Donald Trump recently signed into law the largest package of Wall Street banking reformssince the financial crisis, rolling back regulations on financial firms, from community banks to credit-reporting agencies. Proponents of the law say it will free up regional banks to provide consumers access to credit and help boost the economy. Opponents, including progressive Democrats, argue that the bill undermines protections passed in the Dodd-Frank Act and could help lead to a repeat of the financial crisis. A summary of several key changes can be found here.

Accurate Flood Zone Determinations Webinar - What You Need to Know on June 18 and 25 
Flood zone errors and confusion are rampant, and real estate agents need to know what information they can really count on! Join one of the upcoming MyFloodStatus webinars to learn about their low-cost, pinpoint accurate, insured flood determination reports and the discount pricing you receive with your NYSAR membership. Register now for one of the upcoming webinars scheduled for June 18 and 25 at 9:30 a.m.

New York City Council and mayor agree on $89.2 billion city budget
The New York City Council and Mayor Bill de Blasio agreed to a $89.2 billion city budget, which is $90 million more than the mayor’s proposed budget a month ago, and nearly $4 billion more than the city budget passed last year. This is City Council Speaker Corey Johnson’s first budget negotiated in his new leadership role. The budget announced includes $106 million for the Fair Fares program to provide half-priced Metro cards to New Yorkers below the poverty line beginning in January. A proposal by Johnson to provide a $400 rebate to homeowners was left out of the budget. Read more here.


Government Affairs Update for June 8, 2018

NYSAR opposes prevailing wage expansion proposal – Call for Action to be issued soon!
NYSAR issued a memorandum in opposition to S.2975-A/A.5498-A by Sen. Murphy (R-Hudson Valley) and Assemblyman Bronson (D-Rochester), which would redefine the term “public works,” thereby requiring prevailing wage standards and increased labor costs on all private construction projects that receive any financial support from state or local entities, including loans, bonds, grants, tax abatements, etc. Construction costs in New York are already among the highest in the nation. NYSAR will issue a Call for Action in the coming days urging state lawmakers to oppose this bill. Please watch your inboxes for an email to answer this important statewide Call for Action.

Accurate Flood Zone Determinations Webinar - What You Need to Know on June 11, 18 and 25 
Flood zone errors and confusion are rampant, and real estate agents need to know what information they can really count on! Join one of the upcoming MyFloodStatus webinars to learn about their low-cost, pinpoint accurate, insured flood determination reports and the discount pricing you receive with your NYSAR membership. Register now for one of the upcoming webinars scheduled for June 11, 18 and 25 at 9:30 a.m.

Rep. Maloney to challenge James for Democrat line for Attorney General
Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney from the Lower Hudson Valley announced his decision to challenge New York City Public Advocate Letitia James for the Democratic line in this year’s September Primary Election for state Attorney General. James has garnered Democratic Party support and the backing of labor unions and Gov. Andrew Cuomo. Read more here.

NYC Council introduces bill to regulate Airbnb
The New York City Council introduced a bill that would require Airbnb, and other companies that facilitate short-term rentals, to disclose data to the mayor's Office of Special Enforcement on a monthly basis. Under the bill's provisions, Airbnb, which had 52,653 listings in the city as of last month, would be fined up to $25,000 for each listing it fails to make public. It’s already against the law in New York state to rent an entire apartment in a building with four or more units for less than 30 days, a provision that makes many Airbnb listings illegal. Read more here.

Government Affairs Update for June 1, 2018

REALTORS testify against Albany County fire sprinkler mandate
On May 29, NYSAR and REALTORS from the Greater Capital Association of REALTORS (GCAR) testified at an Albany County Legislature public hearing to oppose proposed Local Law “I,” which would mandate the installation of fire sprinklers in all new one- and two-family residential construction in Albany County. REALTORS were joined by members of the New York State Builders Association in voicing concerns and opposition to the mandate. Albany County REALTORS and residents are urged to sign the Call for Action asking lawmakers to oppose the measure. NYSAR will continue to monitor the issue and oppose sprinkler mandate proposals at the state and local level. Learn more here.

State Legislature passes NY First Home study bill
On May 30, the State Assembly passed legislation (A.9039/S.7316) requiring the state to conduct a fiscal and economic study by June 30, 2018 on the implementation of a first-time home buyer savings account in New York. The State Senate passed the bill earlier in January. The bill will next be sent to Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s desk for his consideration. NYSAR will continue to monitor the progress of this bill and push for completion of the study by the June 30 deadline.

State Senate deadlocked
The New York State Senate is now split 31-31 between majority and minority conferences due to Republican Tom Croci’s departure for Naval duty. Legislation stalled last week with Republicans unable to secure the 32 votes needed to pass a bill on the floor. It is unclear how the remainder of the session will proceed, which is scheduled to end June 20. Read more here.

New York City property tax commission to be formed
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio and City Council Speaker Corey Johnson announced the city will form a commission to overhaul the city's property tax system. The commission will study issues of "efficiency and fairness" in the system and look for ways to overhaul tax classifications, how property market values and assessments are determined, and the possibility of providing relief for low income and senior homeowners. All recommendations, however, must ensure that there is no reduction in property tax revenue used to pay for essential city services. Read more here.
 
New EU Privacy Law takes effect 
On May 25, 2018, a sweeping new data privacy law goes into effect in the European Union (EU). The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) protects the personal data of EU residents and requires compliance by any entity that holds personal data of an EU resident. Additional guidance from the EU is forthcoming, and will likely provide clarity for entities, such as real estate brokerages and associations, with limited contacts with EU residents. There is also uncertainty regarding how EU regulators seeking to enforce the GDPR will obtain jurisdiction over U.S. entities. Read NAR’s legal update on the issue here. Additional guidance will be posted on nar.realtor when it is available.

New sexual harassment laws for New York employers
In order to curtail sexual harassment in the workplace, Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed into law new requirements, which were included in the passage of this year’s state budget, for employers in New York State prohibiting mandatory arbitration clauses and confidentiality provisions in settlements for sexual harassment claims and requiring employers to provide sexual harassment prevention training and written sexual harassment prevention policies to all employees on an annual basis. New state law also provides that an employer may be liable if it knew or should have known that a non-employee, such as a contractor, vendor or consultant, was subjected to sexual harassment in its workplace and failed to take immediate and appropriate corrective action. New York City passed additional requirements with respect to sexual harassment policies and training. Read more on these new laws and when they go into effect here.
Featured Content
Advocacy~NYSAR-180x150
Government Affairs