TOPEKA — Gov. Sam Brownback has vetoed a bill that would extend the life of a board that regulates home inspectors, but kept open the possibility he would consider a revised proposal.
Thursday's veto was the Republican governor's first of the session; he has signed 76 bills into law this year.
The board regulates professional home inspectors who conduct on-site reviews of homes for their sturdiness and safety before they are purchased by homeowners. The inspections, which can cost several hundred dollars, are typically required before mortgages are approved. The intent of the board is to protect consumers by ensuring inspectors are properly trained and are conducting accurate inspections.
The Topeka Capital-Journal reported (http://bit.ly/Xw9i6p) the board, which was created in 2008 and amended in 2009 to expire on July 1, is funded every year by about $15,000 in fees, not the state general fund. The bill would have made the board a permanent fixture of state government instead of being renewed periodically.
The governor said in a statement that he saw little evidence that large numbers of Kansans are being harmed by home inspectors. He said the board puts unnecessary fees and regulations on law-abiding citizens.
"In face, even the proponents believe the vast majority of Kansans who provide this service are honest people," Brownback said.
The bill was supported by the Kansas Association of Real Estate Inspectors and the Kansas Association of Realtors. The logic was that the regulation makes certain that those purchasing homes have access to inspections that are objective and competent. They also said real estate agents and home sellers could be exposed to litigation without regulation of inspectors.
Brownback said he believes the consumer protection division of the attorney general's office would be better suited to handle complaints from residents who feel they were harmed by faulty inspections, not the board.
The governor concluded his veto statement by saying that he would be willing to entertain a similar bill that would extend the home inspectors board for two more years, if legislators decided to send him another measure.
Legislators are on a monthlong break until May 8 and may have time to consider a substitute bill.
Text and history of home inspector bill: http://bit.ly/YQ5M88