The Honorable Casper R. Taylor, Jr.
Speaker of the House
Annapolis MD 21401
Dear Mr. Speaker:
In accordance with Article II, Section 17 of the Maryland Constitution, I have today vetoed House Bill 844 - Real Estate Brokers - Continuing Education Requirements.
House Bill 844 revises the law relating to continuing education credit for real estate brokers. This bill also requires the State Real Estate Commission (Commission) to accept continuing education credit from courses taken by Maryland licensees in another state, United States territory, or the District of Columbia regardless of whether or not the Commission has a written reciprocal agreement with the real estate licensing authority of that other state, United States territory, or the District of Columbia. The Commission is also required to have in place, by January 1, 2002, regulations for accepting continuing education credit through alternative instructional media, such as Internet-based courses.
While I support the intentions behind House Bill 844, I am concerned that this bill undermines Maryland's long-standing policy of promoting reciprocity between the regulatory boards in Maryland and those in other states. Reciprocity is a valuable tool in easing the regulatory burden for individuals who wish to practice their profession in more than one state. Many instances currently exist in law that promote reciprocity. For instance, 16-305 of the Business Occupations and Professions Article allows the State Commission of Real Estate Appraisers to waive the examination requirement for an out-of-state applicant as long as the applicant is licensed to provide real estate appraisal services in another state and that state waives the examination requirement for Maryland licensees to a similar extent. Similar provisions also exist for landscape architects ( 9-306 of the Business Occupations and Professions Article), interior designers ( 8-304 of the Business Occupations and Professions Article), and electricians ( 6-308 of the Business Occupations and Professions Article) as well as for podiatrists ( 16-305 of the Health Occupations Article), morticians ( 7-305 of the Health Occupations Article), and professional counselors, marriage and family therapists, and alcohol and drug counselors ( 17-305 of the Health Occupations Article).
In addition, many bills passed the General Assembly this Session which acknowledge the importance and benefit of reciprocity. For example, House Bill 809 specifies that the fee charged to a nonresident for an annual angler's license must be the greater of $20 or a fee equal to the fee charged a Maryland resident by the nonresident's home state for a similar license. Furthermore, Senate Bill 550 allows the Director of the Bureau of Mines to enter into an agreement with an agency responsible for the regulation of coal mining in another state to provide for the recognition in Maryland of mine foreman and fire-boss certificates or other certifications issued by that state if the other state provides reciprocal recognition of certificates issued by the Bureau of Mines.
It is also worth noting that, while I cannot support the potential erosion of Maryland's long-standing policy of promoting reciprocity between states, I do support the use of alternative instructional media, such as Internet-based courses, as provided for in House Bill 844. Over the next four years, we will be completing the development of a statewide high speed data network that will provide universal access to information for the citizens of Maryland. This network will encourage "long-distance learning" by allowing universities and colleges to share information with relative ease. In order for Maryland to continue to grow in this rapidly evolving e-commerce market, we must encourage the use of the Internet.
For the above reasons, I have vetoed House Bill 844.
Parris N. Glendening