The Liaison Committee met Thursday February 14 at the Capitol Room WW17. Some of the issues discussed included:

1. Jim gave a DOI update. Jim reminded that escrow rate filings (short and long term) are due March 15. A copy of Jim’s Rate Filing Reminder is attached. Jim advised that the head of the realtors association had reached out to the DOI about Rule 39 on disclosure recruitments of producers of title business that have financial interests in title entities and transactions of business. No details of the inquiry were available but there was speculation there was interest as there is an increased interest in producers acquiring title agents. Otherwise, Jim advised it has been quiet at the DOI with little legislative activity this year. Regarding Rules, Gov. Little has indicated if a new Rule is needed the agency should look at cutting 2 existing Rules. This continues Gov. Otter’s theme of streamlining Rules by eliminating outdated and unnecessary rules and laws and/or consolidating.

2. Martin gave a Legislative update. The DOI Rules review needs to pick up steam such that we are moving during the summer after this legislative session ends. The Remote Online Notary issue became SB 1111 and in a new wrinkle is being carried by the Secretary of State. This was seen as a good development since SOS will also be in charge of writing the Rules that will supplement the law. We are still pushing for an e-recording mandate as part of the RON bill and are advised that Nez Perce County is now e-recording leaving just Shoshone County as the lone holdout. John advised that at a recent Electronic Recording Commission meeting he was advised Shoshone County has a new Recorder and Commission members felt the new person was receptive to and would come on board for e-recording and they would reach out to her.

3. Phil McGrane’s flat fee bill was printed and then withdrawn as his initial $30 flat fee was perceived as too much as studies indicated it would increase revenues for the Counties versus be revenue neutral. Phil introduced a revised bill that changed the flat fee to $27 – HB 146. 

4. Other legislative issues discussed were homeowners association issues. Nothing has been seen and Martin and the realtors met with the HOA lobbyist and believe there was an understanding that any proposal would be presented to the relators and ILTA during the off session such that any issues could be worked on prior to the legislative session. We anticipate something during the summer may be presented for review.

5. A couple of different proposals have been made to require Rules be approved by the relevant committees in both houses versus just one which has been the standard if the Rule did not contain fees.

6. Some new bills that we will look into is a DOI bill on investments by insurers and HB 122 on Hemp legislation to determine to what extent they have an impact on our industry.

7. Blockchain was also discussed and in particular with a new bill proposed in Wyoming applicable to Teton County (Jackson) enabling the startup of a blockchain system.

8. The annual ed seminar is set for March 7-8 – full Thursday and half day Friday format with Legislative Reception and silent auction Thursday. The topics will focus on core title and escrow and the agenda and registration is attached. Our room block has expired but if you need a room at our discount rate please contact John as I held a few rooms.

9. The next meeting is scheduled for Wednesday March 6 at 2:00 at The Grove Hotel – Room to be announced later. Call in availability is not anticipated.

Thanks. John