Legislature(2009 - 2010)BARNES 124

03/02/2009 03:15 PM House LABOR & COMMERCE

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03:19:07 PM Start
03:19:17 PM HB129
03:32:46 PM Adjourn
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
Moved Out of Committee
HB 129-REVOKING REAL ESTATE SALESPERSON LICENSES                                                                              
VICE  CHAIR NEUMAN  announced  that the  only  order of  business                                                               
would be HOUSE  BILL NO. 129, "An Act providing  authority to the                                                               
Real  Estate   Commission  to  revoke  real   estate  salesperson                                                               
licenses of persons convicted of certain crimes."                                                                               
3:19:27 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE JAY  RAMRAS, Alaska State  Legislature, testifying                                                               
as prime sponsor of HB 129,  stated that this bill makes a simple                                                               
but needed  correction to existing  law.  Under current  law, the                                                               
Alaska Real Estate  Commission must revoke the license  of a real                                                               
estate broker or  associate broker if the person  is convicted of                                                               
a felony or other crime  of forgery, theft, extortion, conspiracy                                                               
to  defraud creditors,  or  fraud.   While  licensed brokers  and                                                               
associate brokers  can be removed  from the profession,  this law                                                               
does not currently apply to  real estate salespersons.  This bill                                                               
is  by  the   request  of  the  Real  Estate   Commission.    The                                                               
Association of Realtors  brought this matter to  the attention of                                                               
the Real Estate Commission (REC) when a real estate                                                                             
salesperson  was  indicted  on  five  counts  of  bribery,  money                                                               
laundering,  and importing  a controlled  substance.   While  the                                                               
real  estate salesperson  did plead  guilty to  drug trafficking,                                                               
the  REC  had  no  power to  revoke  the  salesperson's  license.                                                               
Representative Ramras  stated that this compromised  the industry                                                               
and the faith and trust the  public places in what is otherwise a                                                               
very noble profession.  He stated  that HB 129 will help the real                                                               
estate profession by allowing it to police its licensees.                                                                       
3:22:16 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE LYNN  stated he  wished to  declare a  conflict of                                                               
interest.  He  stated he is a licensed Alaska  real estate broker                                                               
acting as  an associate broker.   He offered that his  license is                                                               
currently in referral status.                                                                                                   
REPRESENTATIVE HOLMES inquired as  to whether Representative Lynn                                                               
could describe which category of real estate license he holds.                                                                  
REPRESENTATIVE LYNN reiterated that  he is currently an associate                                                               
broker,  but also  mentioned he  has functioned  in all  the real                                                               
estate licensee categories.                                                                                                     
3:24:20 PM                                                                                                                    
ART CLARK, Alaska  Association of Realtors (AAR),  stated that he                                                               
is representing the AAR.  He offered  his belief that HB 129 is a                                                               
clarification  in the  real estate  law.   He offered  his belief                                                               
that  the language  for salespersons  was inadvertently  omitted.                                                               
He  stated  the  AAR is  in  favor  of  the  change that  HB  129                                                               
3:25:13 PM                                                                                                                    
SHARON WALSH, Administrator, Real  Estate Commission, Division of                                                               
Corporations, Business and  Professional Licensing, Department of                                                               
Commerce, Community,  & Economic Development (DCCED),  stated she                                                               
is available to answer questions.                                                                                               
3:25:51 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE BUCH  inquired as to the  department's position on                                                               
HB 129.                                                                                                                         
MS.  WALSH  stated the  Division  of  Corporations, Business  and                                                               
Professional  Licensing,  Department  of Commerce,  Community,  &                                                               
Economic Development (DCCED)  is in support of HB 129.   She also                                                               
added that the investigative unit is in support of the bill.                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  COGHILL  referred  to  page 3,  paragraph  10  of                                                               
HB 129, which addresses  revocation of real estate  licenses.  He                                                               
inquired  as  to  whether  a  salesperson  holds  a  real  estate                                                               
MS. WALSH agreed that a  salesperson holds a real estate license.                                                               
She explained that  licenses are issued to a  real estate broker,                                                               
an associate broker, and a salesperson.                                                                                         
3:27:20 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  HOLMES  asked  if  MS. Walsh  could  explain  the                                                               
differences between the licensees.                                                                                              
MS. WALSH  explained that the  minimum qualifications for  a real                                                               
estate salesperson is to acquire  40 hours of pre-licensing, pass                                                               
an examination for real estate  license, apply for licensure, and                                                               
pay the fees for licensure.   After 24 months, the salesperson is                                                               
eligible to take  a 15-hour broker upgrade training,  and sit for                                                               
the  real estate  broker's examination.   The  person can  become                                                               
either an associate broker or to  open an office as a real estate                                                               
broker.  She related that only  one real estate broker is allowed                                                               
per  office, and  the remaining  real estate  brokers wishing  to                                                               
work for his/her firm are associate brokers by default.                                                                         
REPRESENTATIVE HOLMES related her  understanding that real estate                                                               
salespersons are those persons in  the field meeting with clients                                                               
and showing houses which is  typically considered work as a "real                                                               
estate agent".                                                                                                                  
MS.  WALSH  agreed.     She  reiterated  that   all  real  estate                                                               
salespersons  works under  a  broker, but  only  one real  estate                                                               
broker is allowed per office.                                                                                                   
3:29:36 PM                                                                                                                    
VICE CHAIR  NEUMAN related  his understanding  that HB  129 would                                                               
add real  estate salespersons  to the  law governing  real estate                                                               
brokers and associate brokers.                                                                                                  
MS. WALSH agreed.                                                                                                               
3:29:53 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  COGHILL  inquired  as  to  why  the  real  estate                                                               
salesperson is currently being added.   He further inquired as to                                                               
whether this is a new licensee,  or the reason that this licensee                                                               
was not previously covered under the law.                                                                                       
MR.  CLARK  offered that  he  believes  that not  including  real                                                               
estate salespersons  was an inadvertent oversight.   He explained                                                               
that  the  statutes  governing  real  estate  underwent  a  major                                                               
revision in  mid-90s.   He explained that  the type  of licensees                                                               
for the  profession has not  changed.   He stressed that  the AAR                                                               
want to add real estate salespersons  to the statutes so that the                                                               
licensees   can   have   their   licenses   revoked   under   the                                                               
circumstances Representative Ramras mentioned earlier.                                                                          
3:31:15 PM                                                                                                                    
MR. CLARK, in  response to Vice Chair Neuman,  explained that the                                                               
real  estate  professional  starts  as  a  salesperson,  formerly                                                               
called  a real  estate agent,  and when  he/she can  qualify, the                                                               
person can take  a test to become an associate  broker.  Once the                                                               
person  is an  associate broker,  he/she can  open a  real estate                                                               
office.  However, all licensees  must operate under a real estate                                                               
broker, he said.                                                                                                                
3:31:49 PM                                                                                                                    
VICE  CHAIR NEUMAN,  after  first determining  no  one wished  to                                                               
testify, closed public testimony on HB 129.                                                                                     
3:32:13 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE COGHILL  moved to report  HB 129 out  of committee                                                               
with  individual  recommendations  and  the  accompanying  fiscal                                                               
note.   There being no  objection, HB  129 was reported  from the                                                               
House Labor and Commerce Standing Committee.                                                                                    

Document Name Date/Time Subjects
01_HB129_ver_A.pdf HL&C 3/2/2009 3:15:00 PM
HB 129
02_HB129_Sponsor_Statement.pdf HL&C 3/2/2009 3:15:00 PM
HB 129
03_HB129_Letter_of_Support_AK_Real_Estate_Commission.pdf HL&C 3/2/2009 3:15:00 PM
HB 129
04 HB129-CED-CBPL-02-26-09.pdf HL&C 3/2/2009 3:15:00 PM
HB 129