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Jay DeBoer tapped to head DPOR

Governor Terry McAuliffe has appointed VAR legal consultant Jay DeBoer as director of the Department of Professional and Occupational Regulation (DPOR).

As an executive branch agency, DPOR oversees the Virginia Real Estate Board and 16 other regulatory boards, from architects and asbestos inspectors to barbers, boxers, and wastewater works operators.

This is not DeBoer’s first time at the helm of DPOR; he served as director from 2006 until 2010. Since then, while working at VAR, he’s helped thousands of Realtors across the commonwealth with a long list of real estate topics, and — thanks to that previous DPOR experience — he’s been VAR’s resident expert on anything related to the department.

Governor Signs VAR Bills

Over the weekend, your Virginia Association of REALTORS® Policy and Advocacy team received confirmation that Governor McAuliffe signed the entire Virginia Association of REALTORS® Legislative Agenda into law.  Though the specific provisions of the bills he signed will not come into effect until July 1, 2014, we are pleased that the Governor signed them, exactly as they passed the Virginia General Assembly.

Cool tech for automated homes

There are some really cool and interesting gadgets you can buy — right now, for cheap* — that can automate all sorts of things in your home. They’re a big step up from thermostats with timers or coffee machines that brew just before you work up. (Although those are pretty nifty.)

And when I say “automate,” you might be surprised by what I mean.

DPOR experiencing delays

DPOR is experiencing significant delays in processing applications for new and transferring real estate agents.

Monthly applications have been up almost 50 percent this year compared to last, and DPOR simply doesn’t have the staff to handle the increase.

The good news is that DPOR has been approved to pay for overtime — including having staff come in on Saturdays — to catch up on some of the backlog. It’s also received the go-ahead to hire three more staff, and expects to be able to add a fourth as well.

That will make a tremendous difference, but the agency still has had to cut back on phone and e-mail service to focus on processing applications.

VAR CEO 'making her mark'

As the first women to head Virginia’s largest trade association, VAR CEO Terrie Suit was named in Virginia Business magazine’s “On the move” section — part of its annual feature on the most influential people in the state.

The magazine listed Suit as one of the “People who are making their mark” along with others such as Tom Folliard (president and CEO of CarMax), Gracia Martore (president and CEO of Gannett Co.), John F. Reinhart (CEO and executive director of the Virginia Port Authority), and George Sherman (president of Advance Auto Parts).

Congratulations, Terrie!

Click here to see the article.

Capitol Connections 2014: Episode 9

The General Assembly has ended its session, and VAR had across-the-board success. Heidi explains what we accomplished this year.

Capitol Connections 2014: Episode 8

With the General Assembly session winding down, our bills are doing great -- and Heidi has the latest update, including an interview with Delegate Tag Greason, sponsor of our first-time homebuyers savings plan bill.

NAR opposes House tax reform proposal

U.S. House Ways and Means Chairman Dave Camp (R-MI) released a draft tax reform plan today, and the National Association of Realtors® was quick to oppose it.

The plan called for limits on both the mortgage interest and capital gains deductions, as well as the repeal of deductions for state and local property taxes.

In a statement, NAR President Steve Brown wrote:

Coming soon: Which legislators are most on our side?

This spring VAR will be introducing its legislator report card — a groundbreaking project to help Realtors® and others understand how Virginia's state senators and delegates' are voting on important Realtor issues.

The report card will be all about transparency.

Each session, it will track the high-profile, Realtor-impacting bills being considered by the General Assembly, and will show how members of the Assembly voted on those bills.

Not only will it help you on Election Day, it will encourage those legislators to keep Realtor® issues in mind as they vote — things such as property rights, Realtors® licensing and regulation, property management, and more.

Capitol Connections 2014: Episode 7

As we've passed the halfway point of the 2014 General Assembly session, our bills look like they're doing well. Heidi provides the update.