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.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Washington State Senate poised to pass Homeowner's Bill of Rights?

We've just received word that Senate Bill 5895, the 2009 version of the Homeowner's Bill of Rights, is likely to be considered by the full Senate tonight.

At the heart of SB 5895 is a warranty that requires builders to stand behind their work for several years, giving buyers of new single family homes the assurance that if a defect is discovered, the builder will be coming back to fix it.

It may sound incredible, but courts have ruled that Washington law doesn't permit homeowners to recover damages if something goes wrong with their home, which allows unscrupulous builders to completely escape accountability.

As I explained in my Reporter Newspapers column, published last Saturday:
State law currently affords a family greater protection against a defective car or toaster it does for a new home. It sounds outrageous. And to those families whose savings have been wiped out, to those parents who have lost the ability to pay for their kids to go to college, and to those children whose safety has been at risk because they were living in unsafe homes, it is outrageous.
SB 5895 is prime sponsored by Senator Rodney Tom (D-48th District) and is one of the Northwest Progressive Institute's legislative priorities.

Over the last few days, we've been concerned that the Senate wasn't going to vote on SB 5895, which made it to the floor last Wednesday.

The bill was tabled late last week after some Democratic Senators became angry with last year's sponsor, Brian Weinstein, for criticing their stance on an unrelated bill in full page ads placed in newspapers across the state.

(Weinstein retired from the Senate at the end of last year and hasn't been involved in efforts to pass this year's version of the Homeowner's Bill of Rights.)

Fortunately, it appears the bill is now back on track.

Readers, now's a great time to get in touch with your Senator and urge them to vote in favor of the Homeowner's Bill of Rights.

To email a Senator, just type their last name and first name into the To field in any client, separated by a dot, then add to the end. So:

You may also call the Legislative Hotline at 1-800-562-6000 or look up the office contact information for any Senator at the Legislature's website.

UPDATE, 10:14 PM: The Senate has recessed for the night without considering SB 5895. Please contact your senator and urge their support of the bill.


Post a Comment

<< Home