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Governmental Affairs Update

What’s Happening at the Local Level?

The Political Affairs division of the Governmental Affairs team has been busy scheduling and interviewing candidates for the Saturday May 6, municipal elections in Pasadena, Pearland, and Sugar Land.

The Fort Bend Political Affairs Advisory Leadership (PAAL), chaired by Dionne Randle, met with unopposed Sugar Land Council Members Amy Mitchell, Bridget Yeung, and Stephen Porter. In addition, the Fort Bend PAAL interviewed the three candidates competing in the Sugar Land Position 4 race.

Over a two-day period, volunteers serving on the Bay Area PAAL, chaired by Misty Bacon, interviewed candidates running for Pasadena and Pearland mayor and city council.

HAR’s Political Affairs Advisory Leadership is comprised of REALTOR® volunteers.

These advisory groups help ensure that candidates and elected officials are aware of issues important to REALTORS®. HAR endorsed candidates are expected to understand the concerns of property owners and to know the priorities REALTORS ® have in an ever-changing industry.

A huge thank you to all our Political Affairs Advisory Leadership Group members for giving of their time and attention to represent HAR’s diverse membership during our candidate interview, recommendation, and get-out-the vote efforts!

Important Dates

  • April 6: Last Day to register to vote in the May 6 Election
  • April 24 – May 2: Early voting
  • May 6: Elections for Pasadena, Pearland, Sugar Land and residents of Houston ISD

What’s Happening at the State level?

More than  6,000 bills have been filed for the 85th Texas Legislative Session as of March 10. Both HAR and TAR Governmental Affairs Departments monitor legislation that pertains to REALTORS®. Top priorities for this session include property taxes, school finance and the Texas Real Estate Commission. Our state legislators are busy working in Austin.

Key bills we are keeping an eye on include:

Property Taxes: House Bill 15 (authored by Rep. Dennis Bonnen) requires local governments to publish their effective tax rate, create a searchable statewide database of appraisal and tax rate information and removes the “estimate of Tax Due” on appraisal notices.

School Finance: House Bill 21(authored by Rep. Dan Huberty) would boost per-student funding for nearly every public and charter school in the state while reducing the amount of money wealthier school districts are required to give up to buoy poorer ones.

Texas Real Estate Commission: House Bill 2534 (authored by Rep. John Kuempel) would make changes to certain real estate brokerage and advertising activities and to certain functions of the Texas Real Estate Commission

If you would like to read a bill so you can understand how the State of Texas created and enacts laws visit: http://www.capitol.state.tx.us/Home.aspx

Look for our REALTOR® Day at the Texas Capitol update from our Tuesday, April 4, visit to Austin!

What’s Happening at the Federal level?

If you watch T.V. or use social media, chances are you have heard and read plenty about the “happenings” in Washington, D.C. However, HAR wants you to get it directly from us. HAR’s elected leadership, Federal Political Coordinators, Governmental Affairs and TREPAC Directors will participate in Congressional visits on May 17 and 18. During the 115th Congress, the REALTOR® legislative and regulatory agenda will be focused on efforts to stimulate, stabilize, and strengthen real estate markets across the nation while protecting the business interests of members.

Download the NAR REALTOR® Action Center app on your mobile device to receive NAR’s Washington Report and get up-to-date “real” news for REALTORS®.

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