It was a busy week for CAI-MN as members of the Legislative Action Committee (LAC) continued meet with committee chairs to reintroduce CAI-MN with the new House Majority. A goal outlined for these meeting is to become a resource for legislators over the next two years as they hear of issues in their district or as questions are raised in their committees. As we have learned in the last few sessions, at times bills come forward to the legislature due to a unique circumstance that most times can be resolved without the state stepping in. As part of our discussions this week , we outlined who CAI-MN is and who makes up our membership. We also highlighted the role that the LAC plays in watching for legislation that could impact our members on many levels. One key resource that we have been leaving with all of the legislators we meet with is a copy of the “Key State Advocacy Issues” . This resource along with a one-pager that we have created help explain more about CAI-MN and the role that we can help play in their committees this session and next. Feedback from our meetings has been very positive and they appreciate that we are reaching out to them in advance.
Members also stepped up to take preemptive action on SF 339 which would establish an office of ombudsman for common interest communities. This bill which is being chief authored by Sen. David Hann (R-Eden Prairie) arose from a constituent issue that has been ongoing the past two years between one homeowner and the property management company. In our discussions with Sen. Hann the issue that pushed for the proposed legislation seems like a very unique circumstance. Letters to the property management company from the senator have gone unanswered over the course of this time. SF 339 was introduced to try and get all parties to come to the table. As part of our discussions with Sen. Hann, we outlined a number of concerns that CAI-MN has with the proposed language. We also pointed to other states where this has been enacted in law and provided updates of what has happened since, with most looking to repeal the office. Sen. Hann appreciated us reaching out to him as he was looking to learn more about common interest communities and what other avenues might be used to resolve the issue.
CAI-MN will be following up with a thank you letter and offering our services for that homeowner to talk about the issue and what avenues they might have to resolve the issue. As part of the discussion on SF 339 we have learned that a number of other organizations have issues with the bill. We will continue to work with the other groups and talk to others to prevent the bill from moving forward.
Those we met with this week:
-Rep. Pat Garofalo (R-Farmington) Chair of the House Energy Committee
-Rep. Peggy Scott (R-Andover) Chair of the House Civil Law Committee
-Sen. David Hann (R-Eden Prairie) Senate Minority Leader