The Big Issues
REGULATION OF BUILDING MATERIALS
- HB 1060 would prevent local ordinances from regulating building materials or aesthetics of residential structures, grandfathering in existing historical preservation or architectural districts.
- Aim opposes this bill because it ties the hands of local governments to establish and enforce a locally-crafted set of structural and aesthetic standards that help ensure sustainability and quality neighborhoods that support property values.
- HB 1060, authored by Representative Doug Miller, passed the House Local Government Committee 8-5 on Thursday. We will continue to express our opposition with the members of the House in an effort to prevent its passage.
LOCAL INCOME TAX COUNCIL
- Under current law, if a county’s local income tax is determined by a LIT council, each municipality gets votes proportional to their population. If the city or town council votes for or against a LIT change, all their municipality’s votes are counted as a block.
- HB 1065 would change this so that the city or town council members’ votes count individually. If the votes are split in the council vote, the votes on the LIT council would also be split. This is designed to prevent cities with the majority of the population in a county from controlling the LIT council.
- HB 1065, authored by Representative Jeff Thompson, passed the House Ways and Means Committee 12-9 on Thursday.
STORMWATER FEE EXEMPTION
- If a municipally-owned utility is extending sewer or water service to a new development, the developer pays the cost of the extension. If the utility wants larger mains in preparation for future growth than are necessary for the project at hand, HB 1131 would require the utility to pay the difference in cost to install the larger main.
- Aim opposes this bill because the standards in set by statute in the bill largely removes the flexibility that non-regulated utilities have to craft their agreements with developers.
- HB 1131, authored by Representative Jim Pressel, was heard in the House Utilities Committee on Wednesday but was held for further amendment and discussion.
MUNICIPALLY OWNED UTILITIES
- HB 1165 would prohibit municipal utilities from ever holding property owners liable for the unpaid utility bills of their tenants unless the property owner specifically requests to hold the utility bill in his/her name.
- Aim opposes this bill because it hamstrings the ability of municipal utilities to recover unpaid bills and undermines existing practice in many of the utilities around the state.
- HB 1165, authored by Representative Woody Burton, passed the House Utilities Committee on Wednesday with a vote of 11-1. The bill will now be considered by the full House. If your municipally-owned utility is impacted by this legislation, please contact your representative to express your opposition and ask for a no vote on the floor.
DELINQUENT SEWER LIENS
- If a sewer bill on a property is 60 days delinquent, HB 1085 would require the utility to notify the first mortgage lienholder of record on the property within 20 days of the delinquency in order to place a sewer lien on the property.
- Aim opposes this bill because it would constitute a significant administrative burden on our municipal utilities to dedicate staff time and resources to implement an unnecessary process that does not best serve the responsible customers of the utility.
- HB 1085, authored by Representative Jim Pressel, has not been scheduled for the House Judiciary Committee’s last meeting, and we expect it will not be heard this session.
AN AIM LEGISLATIVE MOMENT
We had a great week at Boot Camp for Newly Elected Officials! The classes were first-rate and equally so were the networking opportunities. In next week’s Legislative Summary we’ll be back with a new video update from Matt and Jennifer. There are several informative updates and a copy of our complete bill tracking list. As always, let us know if you have any questions at [email protected].
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