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Pending Legislation

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Kevin Hines
(@kevin-hines)
Posts: 756
PLS Member
Topic starter
 

It is that time of year where state legislation is being considered to become law.  Some of the house and senate bills are contradictory to the good order and discipline of normal society.  In Mississippi and Arkansas, there are a few that are worded in a way that makes me feel obligated to write the committees where they are up for discussion with strongly worded opposition.

I recommend contacting your state's professional association, even if you aren't a member, to find out if there are any house or senate bills on the agenda that may impact your business and way of life, if passed into law.

My way of thinking is, it is easier to strongly oppose, and hopefully defeat, a bill before it is signed into law than it is to have a law repealed.  Be proactive and get involved, please.

 
Posted : January 25, 2023 10:27 am
RADAR
(@dougie)
Posts: 7400
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GIF
 
Posted : January 25, 2023 10:46 am
holy cow
(@holy-cow)
Posts: 24170
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I applaud the thoughts expressed.  I am also one who is not bashful about contacting legislators in my State.

The challenge is that no matter the total number of legislators in the House and Senate, only about a half dozen in power positions rule the roost.  Cross them and you (elected person) will pay heavily, especially on very close votes.

For those of you in Nebraska with the unicameral system, your mileage may vary from the above comments.  BTW, family lore says that some of my great-grandmother's family helped to construct the Capitol Building in Lincoln.

 
Posted : January 25, 2023 11:52 am
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Norman Oklahoma
(@norman-oklahoma)
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Posted by: @kevin-hines

My way of thinking is, it is easier to strongly oppose, and hopefully defeat, a bill before it is signed into law than it is to have a law repealed.  Be proactive and get involved, please.

This is where an active state society can be a useful tool. 

 
Posted : January 25, 2023 12:42 pm
Kevin Hines reacted
holy cow
(@holy-cow)
Posts: 24170
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@norman-oklahoma 

Or, they can totally mess things up.  Once again, a handful or less run the show.  Their priorities can become "Society" priorities.

 
Posted : January 25, 2023 1:18 pm
Kevin Hines and Rover83 reacted
hpalmer
(@hpalmer)
Posts: 370
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fortunately our state association hired a lobbyist to help with legislation that affects us licensed surveyors and they may have earned their keep this year.

 
Posted : January 25, 2023 3:00 pm

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Kevin Hines
(@kevin-hines)
Posts: 756
PLS Member
Topic starter
 

I am a member of our state association, to be sworn in as one of the association's directors in February.  We also have a lobbyist that keeps us informed on the bills being presented and their progress through the system.  Unfortunately, there are those elected official that, on one hand, want to deregulate everything but on the other hand, want to over-regulate unnecessarily. 

We have one bill, that if passed, would allow a landowner to physically detain any trespasser on their property, without the possibility of being charged with any crimes for false arrest, false imprisonment, or unlawful detention.

 
Posted : January 26, 2023 5:31 am
Tommy Young
(@tommy-young)
Posts: 2410
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We've just had a bill introduced that we're going to have to fight against in Tennessee.  The bill would require surveyors to notify the neighbors when they're surveying a tract.  This legislation was prompted because some surveyor set out a line over where a farmer thought the line was, and then didn't tell the farmer about it.  That's against the law in this state.  We went through this same thing about 15 years ago, and the compromise we reached with the Farm Bureau was we did not have to notify the neighbors unless we found an apparent major discrepancy with the property line and the possession line or the line in the neighbor's deed.  I hope we can get this new effort shot down quickly and cheaply.

This post was modified 2 weeks ago 2 times by Tommy Young
 
Posted : January 26, 2023 9:30 am
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holy cow
(@holy-cow)
Posts: 24170
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The problem with attempting to stay abreast of legislation is that there is too much of it.  Our State Legislature has been seated for about 10 percent of their scheduled term but an insane number of bills have been introduced.  Many will just sit there and never get assigned to a committee for evaluation.  Most of the rest will get assigned to a committee but never make it past that level.  Those that make it out of committee in one house may never be reviewed in the other house.  The handful of power brokers decide what will and what won't make it to the level of actually being debated and negotiated by both houses for potential passing.

Most of what you hear is about the 90 percent of bills that die on the vine but make some legislator feel really good about himself.

One time, and this was 35 years ago,  I went to the Statehouse to meet directly with my elected politicians.  One of those was among that handful of power brokers.  Once he understood my situation completely, he made things happen quickly.  Not so much to help me, but to help a certain PAC get what they needed.  The result was the same and I was very happy.  I firmly believe it was the level of effort that it took for me to see him in his office, uninterupted, that he recognized and rewarded.  A thousand people sending identical emails today have virtually no impact.

 
Posted : January 26, 2023 10:34 am

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(@jon-payne)
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Posted by: @holy-cow

@norman-oklahoma 

Or, they can totally mess things up.  Once again, a handful or less run the show.  Their priorities can become "Society" priorities.

 

I can't disagree with the idea that "...a handful or less run the show."  But there is more than one way that this becomes the case.

The one I would find most disagreeable is when those in offices of the state society do not recognize that they were voted into positions of authority by people they are supposed to represent on the state board of directors.  I have very occasionally seen this attitude.

Another case might be that those elected to represent various chapters throughout the state just do not do a good job of bringing information to their chapter members or taking their chapter members concerns back to the state level.  Not through a feeling that they are "in power" to decide for everyone, but just through apathy about their duties (and their chapter members not holding them accountable).

The one I have seen most often is membership at large not providing any input when their opinions are specifically sought out for particular topics.  Often the state society board is lucky to get even a 10% response on some pretty important questions.  Some folks just aren't concerned and assume the board will keep things in order and others didn't get their way in one decision, so they don't participate any more.

 

 
Posted : January 26, 2023 11:49 am
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KScott
(@kscott)
Posts: 252
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As of this morning the Colorado legislature has 205 bills introduced. By the end of the session it will be about 700. As stated above, 90% are "feel-good" or political statement legislation that will die in committee. Depending on your priorities, political leaning, interests and/or career you either view the others as good, bad or meaningless. If not for the professional associations (Societies) keeping watch on the process, bills affecting a profession adversly would pass without most professionals knowing about it until it was law. My experience indicates some wouldn't even know it then.

On the other hand, we have had some recent success in legislation to improve our profession. One example being the added line item on the DORA approved real estate closing statement for an Improvement Location Survey as well as a line item for an actual boundary survey. This only happened with PLSC involvement with the legislature.

The notion that 10% of the association members do 100% of the work is optimistic I think. Maybe 5%. An association can only react to the input it receives from the membership. To disparage the actions of such an association while refusing to participate is disingenuous.

 

 

 
Posted : January 26, 2023 12:29 pm
Kevin Hines reacted