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C.A.R. Legislative Week Meetings Report

Board Action
The Board of Directors adopted a political assessment of $49 per Member beginning with the 2011 dues cycle. This assessment is for the California Real Estate Political Action Committee. If the C.A.R. Member chooses, the assessment can go instead to the C.A.R. fund for non-candidate political purposes.
The Board also approved a new structure for the statewide MLS that will merge calREDD® with the Multi-Regional Multiple Listing Service Inc. (MRMLS). After the merger, the state’s system will be called CALMLS. An additional $750,000 was also approved for the CALMLS line of credit.

SAR Successes

  • SAR received the award for raising more money for the REALTOR® Action Fund than any other large association in the state – nearly $127,000!
  • SAR’s Housing Opportunity Committee also won a $50,000 grant from the C.A.R. Housing Affordability Fund. The Association will more than match that amount to launch a new program that will give grants to homebuyers needing to make energy upgrades. Watch for the announcement of this new program that will help more buyers qualify to improve the energy use and comfort of their home.
  • Our newly formed REALTOR® Action Fund (RAF) Committee secured a grant from the NAR to host a fundraising event for RAF, which they did in conjunction with Legislative Day.

Committee Reports
The Legal Action Fund Trustees have reviewed eight cases and requests for funding since their February meeting. The Trustees authorized three amicus briefs.
A landmark decision by the California Supreme Court occurred in the case of Steiner v. Thexton, supported by the Legal Action Fund. C.A.R. was concerned about the impact on the RPA-CA because of the buyer’s ostensible right to cancel a contract due to the failure of a contingency without having to state a reason. The Supreme Court acknowledged C.A.R.’s concerns as expressed in a brief and indicated in a footnote that “bilateral contracts subject to a contingency, which are widely used in real estate transactions, are not affected by our holding.”
The ruling is quite favorable to REALTORS®, reinforcing that the validity of the RPA-CA is not called into question.
C.A.R. is sponsoring SB1178 to extend anti-deficiency protection to homeowners who have refinanced purchase money loans to simply get a lower interest rate. The bill has passed the Senate and is in the Assembly as of this report.
A new Q and A has been posted on the C.A.R. website concerning the EPA lead-based paint renovation rule. It addresses remodeling and renovation projects disturbing more than six square feet of potentially contaminated painted surfaces. The rule applies to structures built prior to 1978 that are inhabited or frequented by pregnant women and children under the age of six.

Leadership
LeFrancis Arnold was elected President-elect of C.A.R. for 2011. SAR’s Directors on the C.A.R. Board are: Paula Colombo, Doug Covill, Judy Covington, Eva Garcia, Ron Greenwood, Barbara Harsch, Patrick Lieuw, Steve Ostrom, Leigh Rutledge, Tracey Saizan, Clay Sigg, Charlene Singley, Cathryn Snow, Dave Tanner, Alan Wagner and Bruce Werking.

Serving in C.A.R. leadership positions this year are: Eva Garcia, Executive Committee; Tracey Saizan, Strategic Planning/Finance Committee; Clay Sigg, Chair of the Legal Action Fund; Charlene Singley, Vice Chair of the Housing Affordability Fund; and Leigh Rutledge as Alternate on the California Real Estate Political Action Committee.

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