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Minutes for SB31 - Committee on Ethics, Elections and Local Government

Short Title

Rehabilitation of abandoned property by cities.

Minutes Content for Thu, Jan 26, 2017

Senator Bowers opened the hearing on SB31.  Chuck Reimer, staff revisor, presented a briefing on the bill.  After questions by the Committee were addressed, the hearing continued.

Whitney Damron testified in support of SB31 indicating that this issue had legislation last session, 2016 SB338, that passed the House and the Senate.  Mr. Damron stated that it was vetoed by the Governor with some direction back to the proponents to attempt to address some concerns that had been expressed with that bill.  Mr. Damron highlighted how SB31 works and how they believe it could improve neighborhoods in communities.  Mr. Damron responded to questions from Committee members.  (Attachment 1)

Mike Taylor testified in support of SB31.  Mr. Taylor indicated that SB31 would be a critical tool in their effort to clean up their community, and would help a lot of other cities.  Mr. Taylor responded to questions from Committee members.  (Attachment 2)

Lavonta Williams testified in support of SB31.  Ms. Williams indicated that SB31 is the result of a multiyear collaborative process that reflects the feedback of public, private, and nonprofit interests.  Ms. Williams responded to questions from Committee members.  (Attachment 3)

Sam Lindeman testified in support of SB31 stating that blighted properties are a magnet for vandalism and theft.  Mr. Lindeman asked to consider and focus on the neighbors of these properties, not just the owners.  (Attachment 4)

Mearlin Overton testified in support of SB31.  Ms. Overton stated that this bill is very important for their neighborhood, city and county because many houses have been abandoned due to absent owners.  (Attachment 5)

John Todd testified in opposition to SB31 by describing private sector solutions.  Mr. Todd stated that when you clean up neighborhoods through the program he discussed, you see jobs created, the tax based maintained and an uplift in the neighborhood.  Mr. Todd responded to questions from Committee members.  (Attachment 6) 

Chairperson Bowers announced that due to time constraints, the hearing on SB31 will be continued at the February 2, 2017, meeting.