The 2010 election year is a major one for Floridians as they will be electing a new governor, chief financial officer, attorney general, agriculture commisioner, U.S.  Senator, 120 FL House members, 20 FL senators and 27 U.S. House members. On March 2, a 60-day legisltive session convenes and political aspirations will impact policy decisions which will not be easy ones.

Florida Realtors' legislative agenda includes several initiatives to revitalize and strengthen the housing market:

Property tax break for all first time buyers - Florida Realtors is working with sponsors in the House and Senate to revise th property tax amendment that will appear on the November ballot.  Currently, the amendment applies only to people who have not owned a home in the previous eight years.  The revised amendment would allow someone who has not owned a primary residence in Florida in the previous three years to be eleigible for a tax break which is a benefit to new Florida residents.

Foreclosure Relief - At least a half-dozen bills have been filed to assist Florida single-family homeowners, condo owners and tenants impacted by foreclosure, which increased 34% in 2009.  Some seek to expedite the foreclosure process so buyers could close on bank-owned properties more quickly.  At least one bill is geared toward tenants of properties being foreclosed, giving them an opportunity to be among the first to make an offer.

Stabilize the property insurance market - Every year the Legislature chips away at obstacles to available and affordable homeowners' insurance rates.  This year, they will consider a bill to reduce risk for insurers by permitting them to raise rates without state approval (SB 876/HB477).  There is also a measure to repeal the requirement which is set to take effect on Jan. 1, 2011 -  that sellers of all properties provide buyers with a windstorm rating of their properties.

Stay informed and monitor the progress of real estate-related bills at