Chairman's Corner with John Horning

 John P. Horning  |    March 03, 2011

We are heading into the 2011 spring market with optimism. Most REALTORS® I’ve been speaking with feel that we have turned the corner. The economy is gradually improving in many areas; employment, the stock market, and auto sales have all increased the last several months. Housing inventories are healthy, prices are affordable, and interest rates are still relatively low, though they are starting to increase. Add to that the recent Super Bowl victory by our Green Bay Packers, and most REALTORS® are expressing their confidence that the market is on its way back up.

We have also seen improvement legislatively. Governor Walker’s first bill signing was to make Health Savings Accounts (HSAs) tax deductible and more affordable. Our political and legal teams are building solid relationships with the new administration. The new Secretary of the DNR, Cathy Stepp, attended our Board of Directors Meeting to introduce her vision of a customer service oriented DNR. They plan to work proactively with companies and individuals to help them understand the process and attain the permits they need.

With the recent successes on the state level, I strongly encourage all REALTORS® to attend REALTOR® & Government Day on April 27 in Madison. This is your chance to meet state lawmakers and advocate for issues that impact your business. Governor Walker will be our keynote speaker. 

On the national level, I had the privilege to travel to Washington, D.C. on February 2 with our Federal Political Coordinators (FPCs). Every member of Congress has a REALTOR® from their district who is their main contact on real estate issues. NAR invited all FPCs from around the country to Washington, D.C. for two days of training and discussion on policy issues followed by hill visits with our Senators and Representatives.

We delivered four main points on our hill visits:

  1. Preserve the Mortgage Interest Deduction
  2. Share NAR’s proposals for GSE reform
  3. Extend and strengthen the National Flood Insurance Program
  4. Preserve and enhance capital for commercial real estate loans

It was a successful trip and I want to thank our Wisconsin FPCs for the fantastic job they did representing us. They are:

  • Congresswoman Baldwin: Jim Schuessler
  • Congressman Duffy: John Flor
  • Congressman Kind: Roxanne Reynolds
  • Congresswoman Moore: Rachel Bloch
  • Congressman Petri: Scott Swick
  • Congressman Ribble: James Griffin
  • Congressman Ryan: Peggy Shumway
  • Congressman Sensenbrenner: Amy Spear
  • Senator Johnson: Kevin Purtell
  • Senator Kohl: John Horning




In May, this same group will return to Washington, D.C. joined by an even larger contingent of Wisconsin REALTORS® for NAR’s Mid-year Meeting and hill visits.

Have a great spring and I look forward to seeing you on April 27th at REALTOR® & Government Day in Madison. We are making a difference!

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