Under pressure from the Department of Justice, the Kentucky legislature this week abandoned a bill that would have given the state’s real estate commission the power to set minimum levels of customer service, regardless of whether customers wanted that level of service. Like most state real estate commissions, the Kentucky commission is stacked with four traditional brokers. A former mortician is the lone consumer advocate.
When the commission, whose charter is “to protect the public interest,” had tried to introduce minimum-service regulations on its own the year before, the Justice Department sued the commission for “inflicting higher prices on Kentucky consumers.” The commission abandoned the regulations as a result, only to lobby the legislature this year to codify them as a law.
But now it turns out that won’t work either. Good news for consumers in Kentucky, and everywhere else too.