LICENSURE BILL PASSES IN HOUSE AND SENATE
I would like to thank Tom Bauer, our lobbyist, for his efforts, knowledge and professionalism in guiding us through this entire difficult process. It is only through his dedication that we have been able to get to the position we now enjoy. I have worked with business professionals all my life and find Tom Bauer to be among the best. The following is a time line of the licensing bill process.
February 2004: The ASHI-GA Board initiates a committee to start drafting proposed legislation for home inspectors. The committee was made up of Robert Golden, Mike McGowan and I. The document was to be created incase legislation was introduced by someone and we would not be caught unprepared. The legislative document was only to be used if something unexpectedly came up from the General Assembly or a private citizen.
May 2004: The first draft was submitted to the Board for input.
April 2005: The last day of the 2005 session, Rep. Benfield introduces HB 903.
November 2005: The contractual agreement with our lobbyist, Thomas Bauer was expanded to not only monitor HB 903 in the next session, but to test the waters for a comprehensive effort from ASHI-GA to introduce our own licensure Bill. The thinking was to be proactive in pushing a Bill that would be designed and promoted by ASHI-GA. This initiative had not been tried in any other State. We thought that if it was going to happen, it should be the home inspection community that takes the initiative.
2006: Numerous meetings and phone calls this year produced a Senate bill 334, a Senate sponsor, alliances with the Georgia Association of Home Inspectors, the National Association of Home Inspectors, and Rep. Benfield agreed to not pursue her Bill. By the end of the year we were ready to do battle with the upcoming session.
2007: This was a coalition building year as we worked our own Senate Bill through the various committees. The allies we collected along the way included: Georgia Association of Realtors, Associated General Contractors of America, Inc., Georgia Engineering Alliance, the National Association of Certified Home Inspectors, and National Home Inspectors Examination. By the end of the year ASHI, GAHI, NAHI, were all on board and equally sharing expenses and effort with attending meetings. At this point, it was no longer just an ASHI—GA Bill and effort.
2008: An effort of months was realized in January when SB 485 passed the Georgia Occupational Regulation Review Council, GORRC, with very little discussion, a major accomplishment that required a tremendous amount of time and effort. House Bill HB 1217 was introduced so both Bills could be going through the system at the same time. This was a time saving maneuver because things were proceeding so smoothly.
As of April 2, 2008: HB1217 has passed the Senate intact and was sent back to the House for minor tweaking. The house has approved the Senate version of the Bill. The Bill now goes to the Governor for his signature. As written the Bill could be signed this year but would not go into effect until January 1, 2010. This allows the State to set up funding, and seat a Board. For those of you are interested, HB1217 and SB 334 can be viewed on the Georgia General Assembly website.I want to thank everyone from the home inspection organizations in Georgia that donated their time and effort to make this process work. We have all worked very long and hard to create a licensure bill that will create a higher level of professionalism for our industry.