Two South Carolina legislators spoke about the need to bolster rural broadband systems and devise a federal policy for online remote notarization during the 2020 REALTORS® Virtual Legislative Meetings today.

Read the NAR article.

Rural broadband needed

House Majority Whip Jim Clyburn told National Association of REALTORS® members that stay-at-home orders caused by the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic have demonstrated an urgent need for reliable, affordable broadband in rural areas.

“We must make sure Americans’ homes remain connected to essential services. Two of those services that are so essential are the postal service and broadband internet,” Majority Whip Clyburn said. “As we all know, homes must be connected to affordable, high-speed internet, especially during this time of social distancing. It is a necessity for telehealth, telework and remote learning. Thank you so much, President (Vince) Malta, for the letter you recently sent to congressional leadership in support of accessible and affordable broadband.”

Malta sent a letter to Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell asking for greater investment in broadband infrastructure and services.

E-notary sought for all states

Even though some states are allowing remote online notarizations, U.S. Sen. Tim Scott said he wants a federal policy so REALTORS® in all states can help consumers improve their financial standing through home ownership. (Illinois is temporarily allowing notarial acts to be performed remotely via “two-way audio-visual communication technology” during Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s Stay-at-home Executive Order.)

Sen. Scott said, “As goes the real estate market, so goes the economic fortune of this nation. That is one of the reasons why I’ve spent a lot of time focusing my attention on e-notary. The good news in the Senate is that [Sen. Kevin] Cramer is our lead, and we are working to make sure that it is easier for closings to happen.”

Read more about the presentations by Rep. Clyburn and Sen. Scott and these issues.