Offering frequent news and analysis from the majestic Evergreen State and beyond, The Cascadia Advocate is the Northwest Progressive Institute's unconventional perspective on world, national, and local politics.

Friday, March 7, 2008

Bill cutoff deadline passes, but SB 6385 can still be revived

Five o'clock has come and gone and SB 6385, this year's Homeowner's Bill of Rights legislation, is still stuck in the House Rules Committee thanks to Speaker Frank Chopp, who has imprisoned it there and kept it from going to the floor so as not to offend Olympia's meanest, most uncompromising right wing lobby - the Building Industry of Association of Washington, which is preparing to spend millions to attack Governor Gregoire and Democrats in this fall's presidential elections.

Chopp has refused to identify any specific problems or concerns with the bill, which was carefully rewritten by Judiciary Committee Chair Pat Lantz to give homeowners the same protections that condo buyers already enjoy.

If the Speaker believes he has weathered the storm, he is mistaken. Advocates of the Homeowner's Bill of Rights aren't going anywhere:
Proponents of Substitute Senate Bill 6385’s homeowner protections have not given up, including Democratic Sen. Brian Weinstein of Mercer Island, who said Senate Majority Leader Lisa Brown, D-Spokane, is going to keep discussing it with the speaker.

Gov. Chris Gregoire also supports SSB 6385, despite its strong opposition by the Building Industry Association of Washington and its allies in the insurance industry.

Weinstein speculated that some House bills could be hung up in the Senate if his measure doesn’t move before today’s 5 p.m. cutoff. Although it’s hard to revive a bill that dies at cutoff, it can be done — and he suggested some lawmakers could ask Gregoire to keep lawmakers in town until the measure is passed.

The session is scheduled to end Thursday.
We may not be throwing in the towel, but we're very disappointed with the Speaker today. We're tired of his excuses and his stalling. Families are suffering and Chopp is singlehandedly standing in the way of their relief - as he did last year.

Instead of discussing this important issue today, the House debated the merits of beer and wine tasting in grocery stores.


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