Fund Helps Builders Fight Battles in Arizona and Florida
Home builders associations received funding at last month’s International Builders’ Show in Orlando to battle a burdensome immigration law and a proposal for “ballot box zoning.”
The financial assistance was provided by NAHB's State & Local Issues Fund (SLIF), which helps state and local HBAs deal with legislative, regulatory and ballot issues that have national significance for the housing industry.
At the winter board of directors meeting, the Home Builders Association of Central Arizona was awarded funding to help amend HB 2779, which on a first offense suspends for 10 days all of the business licenses of an employer who has hired an illegal alien and revokes them entirely on a second offense. Passed by the Arizona legislature during its 2007 session, the measure is considered the most draconian immigration law in the country. A lawsuit against HB 2779 has been unsuccessful in lower federal court, but an appeal is expected to the Ninth Circuit.
An initiative filed by an anti-illegal immigration group would shut down a business on a first offense, and legislation has been introduced this year to make the bill’s provisions retroactive to “any” hire prior to Jan. 1, 2008, which is the law’s effective date. An initiative to amend the law has also been filed by the business community.
The Volusia Home Builders Association in Florida also received funding last month to support its campaign against a proposed charter amendment that would subject all future comprehensive plan changes to a public vote.
No-growth supporters have gained nearly 4,000 of the 6,770 signatures they need to place six charter amendments on the November 2008 City of Daytona Beach ballot. Of greatest concern is a “mini-hometown democracy” amendment that would require all future comprehensive plan changes needed for any development to be approved by the voters.
Proponents of the amendments were able to collect the signatures they now have in less than four months, and they are well financed. The other five amendments would lower water/sewer rates by 33%, outsource the city attorney’s office, prohibit corporate entities from donating to campaigns, require any expenditure exceeding $1,000 to be voted on individually by the city commission and terminate certain city employee positions.
The deadline for the next round of applications for the State & Local Issues Fund, which will be reviewed at NAHB’s upcoming spring board of directors meeting, is April 6.
For more information on the fund or to request an application, e-mail Alex Strong at NAHB, or call him at 800-368-5242 x8326.