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Mississippi REALTORS® respond to Governor Bryant’s veto of HB 1476 (Broker Responsibility Act)

The Mississippi REALTORS® were surprised and disappointed to learn of Governor Bryant’s Veto of HB 1476, The Broker Responsibility Act. The members of the Mississippi House and Senate demonstrated overwhelming bipartisan support for this proposed policy change. The Mississippi REALTORS® applaud Lieutenant Governor Reeves, Speaker Gunn, and the 81 House members and 49 Senators who shared our commitment to further protecting consumers.

“Mississippi REALTORS® have a lengthy credible history of growing our industry, encouraging competition, promoting small business entrepreneurship, and partnering in the Governor’s economic advocacy efforts for the past seven years.  Our personal commitment to safe desirable communities has been a major component of his economic development program. However, when building trust with the Mississippi consumer there is simply no substitute for education and experience. It’s not enough to build business – we must build successful business. HB 1476 did not impede business, it did not change entry requirements, it did not increase costs -it simply mandated time to become more thoroughly competent in the skills necessary to be successful and profitable.” Said Mississippi REALTORS® President, Karen Glass.

In his Veto message, Governor Bryant stated, “I believe there are mechanisms out there that can be more narrowly tailored to address the specific issue of better preparing real estate brokers, if there is a present need to do so.”

The Mississippi REALTORS® worked diligently to educate Representatives, Senators, and members of the Governor’s staff on the importance and need to produce more experienced, educated brokers. We were encouraged that the message resonated with members of the House and Senate—with more than two-thirds supporting the policy change; however, the Mississippi REALTORS® remain concerned by Governor Bryant’s unwillingness to acknowledge the urgency or existence of a problem in the real estate industry.

Glass went on to say “While we are disheartened by the Governor’s response, the Mississippi REALTORS® appreciate the Lieutenant Governor, Speaker, and members of the House and Senate who supported HB 1476.  Thank you to Representatives and Senators who responded to the calls, texts, and emails from REALTORS® across the state.  Your attention and support of this matter is noted, and we will count on your support as we address the welfare of consumers.”

After visits to all 21 local REALTOR® boards, a statewide survey to more than 6,200 REALTORS® across Mississippi, and a careful examination of the laws and regulations impacting real estate transactions, the Mississippi REALTORS® recognized the need to better educate real estate brokers—both in the classroom and through practical experience. HB 1476 was designed to help ensure brokers who are lawfully responsible for overseeing licensed salespersons gain the necessary experience to oversee, train, and guide their agents.

The Mississippi REALTORS® remain committed to protecting real estate consumers, fostering an environment for small businesses to flourish, and addressing the needs of the real estate industry. As we work to strengthen communities and the real estate profession, in the future, we hope that the Governor will work with the Mississippi REALTORS® and share our commitment to excellence.