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House updates real estate rules

Muñoz-sponsored bill passes unanimously

Posted: February 26, 2012 - 12:09am

The Alaska House of Representatives approved a bill Friday making several changes to real estate law, including barring licensed real estate assistants from working for more than one broker.

House Bill 267, co-sponsored by Rep. Cathy Muñoz, R-Juneau, passed unanimously, but not without some legislative politics.

Muñoz described the bill as the top priority of the Alaska Association of Realtors.

The bill makes it clear licensed assistants may only work for the brokerage in which they are licenced, which Muñoz described as a way to prevent confidential sales information from being inappropriately shared with others.

Another provision of the law would allow the Alaska Real Estate Commission to appoint a licensee to administer the closing of a brokerage if there is not a licensed broker available to perform the task due to medical reasons or a violation of the law.

The bill would also let real estate licensees to share part of their commission with charity or waive their commission if they are selling property for a charity.

Muñoz said that would promote charitable giving.

The bill now goes to the Senate where a similar bill has bee introduced by Sen. Dennis Egan, D-Juneau.

While the bill itself was not controversial, it gave Rep. Kyle Johansen, R-Ketchikan, an opportunity to show his knowledge of parliamentary procedure.

When Rules Committee Chairman Craig Johnson, R-Anchorage, tried to speed through a routine motion for reconsideration to allow the bill to get to the Senate more quickly, Johansen called foul.

“I’m a stickler for the rules, and those should be two separate motions,” he said.

Johnson redid the action with the two motions, but said he didn’t understand why that had to be done.

Johansen, of course, was the majority leader and ran the floor sessions himself during the 2009-10 legislative session. That was before a failed power play resulted in his being booted from the House Majority caucus that controls the chamber and elected Rep. Mike Chenault, R-Nikiski, as its presiding officer.

• Contact reporter Pat Forgey at 523-2250 or at patrick.forgey@juneauempire.com.

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