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WASHINGTON, DC-The National Association of Real Estate Investment Trusts has awarded Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-UT, with its 2001 Small Investor Empowerment Award. He was awarded the honor during a luncheon on Capitol Hill, where NAREIT president and CEO cited his work to push legislation that makes it possible for small investors to include real estate stocks in their portfolios.

“Senator Hatch has long been a staunch supporter of the commercial real estate industry generally, and of publicly traded real estate companies in particular,” says Wechsler. He credited Hatch for cosponsoring the REIT Simplification Act of 1997, the REIT Modernization Act of 1999, and backing tenant improvement legislation now before Congress.

According to NAREIT, the award was established to recognize public servants who show “exceptional commitment to the ideals of free enterprise, economic growth, personal freedom and unlimited opportunity for all Americans.” Previous recipients include US Reps. Ben Cardin, Bill Thomas, R-CA, and Bill Archer, R-TX, and US Sens. Bob Graham, D-FL, and Connie Mack, R-FL.

Hatch is the Senate Judiciary Committee’s ranking Republican and also serves on the Senate Finance Committee. NAREIT is the national trade association for real estate companies.

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