Read a Pacific Northwest, liberal perspective on world, national, and local politics. From majestic Redmond, Washington - the Northwest Progressive Institute Advocate.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Governor Gregoire says she'll work to pass Homeowner's Bill of Rights in 2009

Last week, Governor Gregoire sat down for an interview with The Stranger to talk about the 2008 election, her record as governor, and her positions on several issues of importance to the publication's team of writers.

One of the issues that came up during the interview was the Homeowner's Bill of Rights, NPI's top legislative priority.

Here's a transcript from the video (emphasis mine):
GOV. GREGOIRE: I have a good working relationship with [House Speaker] Frank Chopp...I really do. We couldn't have accomplished all that we have over the last four legislative sessions if we didn't have a good partnership going...I don't happen to agree with him on everything.

I don't happen to agree with him, for example, on some transportation issues. I don't happen to agree with him on [the] Homeowner's Bill of Rights. So there are a number of areas where I don't agree with him. And there are occasions in which, despite our disagreement, he wins, and occasions in which, despite it, I win.

Now, next legislative session... I think we ought to take head on, the Homeowner's Bill of Rights. I think it's the right thing to do.

And if it wasn't acutely obvious it was the right thing to do [before], [it is today], based on what we're seeing happening in the state now, and across America, more importantly... it is the absolute right thing to do.

THE STRANGER: But how do you feel about the Speaker of the House pushing back against you on this very...I mean, what seems like a very fundamental, you know, Democratic Party issue (or what should be) this homeowner's bill?

GOV. GREGOIRE: He has a right to his own opinion, and I respect that. As long as he doesn't stand as a barrier to letting his caucus vote. So I will maintain I have a right to go in that caucus and a right to advocate to them...There have been things that he has not agreed on in the past, but, he has allowed to let the caucus vote. And I have won some of those and I have lost some of those.
We at NPI extend our heartfelt thanks to our Governor for going on the record in support of passing the Homeowner's Bill of Rights next year. We care deeply about changing our broken liability laws for a reason. This is about justice for families that are suffering. Justice for Washingtonians who have been wronged.

We especially appreciate the Governor's statement that Chopp should avoid being a barrier. Unfortunately, in the past, he has been an obstacle to getting the Homeowner's Bill of Rights through the statehouse. At the end of the last session, he purposefully held up the bill in the House Rules Committee, preventing it from going to the floor for a vote.

We trust that next year (if reelected) Governor Gregoire will be stepping in to ensure that there is a vote...so the bill can finally become law. (It already has support in the Senate, where it has passed more than once).

Chris Gregoire's commitment to pass this much needed consumer protection legislation is exactly the kind of real leadership and public service that have been the hallmarks of her first term as Washington's chief executive. Chris genuinely cares about improving our state's quality of life. Anyone who objectively looks at her record can see that. Her concern is evident in her passion for the job.

And it's a tough job. It won't get any easier in the next four years - our state's challenges are only getting bigger. The need for progressive tax reform - an issue the Legislature has repeatedly ignored or sidestepped in recent years - will be on the front burner, for instance, as our fiscal problems escalate.

But if there is anyone who is capable of steering Washington through a storm, it's Chris Gregoire. She's smart, she's forthcoming, and she's determined to fight for the people of the Evergreen State... no matter what.

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