This week, the broker education bill submitted at the request of RI REALTORS® passed the General Assembly. For those of you who are not familiar with the bill, HB 5532/SB 299 removes the exception to qualification for a broker’s license previously granted to those with a baccalaureate in real estate. Those who graduate with a degree in real estate in a neighboring state for example, will not be allowed to practice without the two years of experience as a salesperson and 90 hours of classroom hours needed for licensure in Rhode Island.
First and foremost the bill protects Rhode Island’s homebuyers and sellers, but it also protects our members from doing business with associates who are not educated about our laws and regulations. The passage of HB 5532/SB 299 therefore, is a win-win on all sides of the transaction and the fourth important piece of passed legislation introduced on behalf of the Rhode Island Association of Realtors during the 2017 legislative session. (See the RI REALTORS® End-of-Session Report on rirealtors.org or FAQ’s for details on the other bills.)
As the former head of the Rhode Island Real Estate Commission, and now the President of the Rhode Island Association of REALTORS®, raising the level of professionalism of our licensees is one of my personal goals. So, when this year’s abrupt ending to the legislative session left this bill’s fate hanging, I couldn’t help but be disappointed. Seeing it pass now during my last quarter as President is particularly meaningful.
I would like to extend my sincere thanks to the Government Affairs Committee, its Chair, Patricia Lenihan, and RIAR’s Government Affairs Director David Salvatore, for proactively and energetically working on behalf of our members and their clients throughout the year. Their hard work yielded great results and I for one, couldn’t be more proud.