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Organizing your community to bring public attention to builders bad deeds and seeking assistance from local, state and federal elected officials has proven to be more effective and much quicker for thousands of families. You do have choices and alternatives.  Janet Ahmad

Washington - Latest News
Washington State Builders Violate State Campaign Finance
Friday, 01 August 2008

WA gov supporters target builders group
Two former state Supreme Court justices who support Gov. Chris Gregoire took aim at one of the Democratic incumbent's most pugnacious foes on Friday, accusing the Building Industry Association of Washington of campaign finance law violations...The BIAW, which has donated more than $1.4 million to political causes so far this election cycle, operates political committees that are registered with the state Public Disclosure Commission and report their income and spending.

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Sen. Brian Weinstein: Homebuyer Bill of Rights
Wednesday, 16 July 2008

Law skewed in favor of builders
For the past two years, I've offered a bill in the state Senate that attempts to level the playing field between home buyers and builders. My bill, widely known as the Homebuyer Bill of Rights, would give rights to Washingtonians that most presumed they already had -- the right to bring a builder to court to recover damages for shoddy work... In fact, under current law, fewer than 1 percent of Washingtonians currently have this right. These lucky few are generally those with the means and foresight to hire a lawyer to draft a contract governing the rights and obligations between the home buyer and the contractor or builder. Since virtually no one in Washington hires a lawyer when buying a home, home buyers unwittingly sign whatever is handed to them. They do this at their risk because Washington law does not protect them.

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Washington's Homebuys bill of rights
Wednesday, 09 July 2008

Chopp's House holds up homeowners' rights
How does this jibe with the guy who received a "Schrammie" from KOMO/4 pundit Ken Schram for "leaving homeowners in a lurch" and blocking homeowners from being able to sue for negligent construction?Or the cuts aimed at Chopp from liberal Democrats and their allies in the legal profession who depict him as carrying water for the arch-reactionary Building Industry Association of Washington?... What recourse is there for a new homeowner whose basement floods because the builder has failed to waterproof a foundation wall? The builder blames the weather. Or what happens when floors haven't been leveled, or a builder fails to properly seal toilets. The it's-not-my-fault game can go on and on, with nobody offering to fix the house.

Read more...
 
Washington State Senate Consumer Protection & Housing Hearing
Monday, 28 January 2008

Senate Consumer Protection & Housing Commitee
Listen to the homebuilding industry whine and moan over bill to protect homebuyers. Chairman Senator Brian Weinstein has heated exchange. This will be a hot issue to watch. See Public Hearing...

 
Washington State holds Senate Consumer Protecting & Housing Committee Hearing on SB 6385
Friday, 25 January 2008

Washington needs a Homeowner's Bill of Rights: Testimony on SB 6385
For the record, my name is Rick Hegdahl. I’m the Outreach & Advocacy Director for the Northwest Progressive Institute, a regional netroots strategy center working to advance the common good through ideas and action. I also run a home remodel and repair business in Bellevue, Washington, where I live – Viking Construction – so I have firsthand experience with this issue.  I’m pleased to be here today to voice NPI’s support for SB 6385.

Read more...
 
Washington State Serious about Consumer Protection
Wednesday, 23 January 2008

Legislature proposes bills to protect consumers
State lawmakers want to regulate lead and toxic chemicals in children's products, create a bill of rights for airline passengers and allow homeowners to sue for shoddy home construction. Two weeks into the session, legislators have rolled out more than a dozen bills aimed at protecting customers after last year's product fiascos, including lead found in millions of toys, the subprime lending debacle and airline passengers stranded for hours on the tarmac without adequate food or water.

Read more...
 
Washington State: Legislators attempt to regulate homebuilding
Tuesday, 15 January 2008

Bill protects homeowners from shoddy builders 
 If an auto mechanic damages your car or a tree service cuts down the wrong tree, you can sue for negligence. But buy a defective house in Washington state and you might not be able to take the builder to court. But some state lawmakers think that's wrong, and hope to change that. This is the lawmakers' second attempt to give you more protection if you buy a home that's not up to code or has substantial defects. Last year, two democrats almost got a bill passed to require new homes to come with a warranty, but the building industry got it shot down.

Read more...
 
Washington State: OPINION: SEATTLE POST-INTELLIGENCER EDITORIAL BOARD
Friday, 06 April 2007

Consumer Protection: Building to last
Senate Bill 5550, known as the Homeowners Bill of Rights, would protect buyers of new homes against such things as defects in materials and workmanship (for two years), defects occurring because of water leaks (five years) and structural defects (for 10 years)...Chopp has been accused of giving in to the pressure from the Building Industry Association of Washington, and his position on SB5550 has prompted seriously outcry from the House... The House speaker should get off the dime and let lawmakers vote on this bill; we think it would mean new consumer protection for home buyers.

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Washington State: Blowing off steam over Homebuyer Bill of Rights
Tuesday, 03 April 2007

Some hope Williams’ threat to quit a ‘moment of frustration’
Some House Democrats said Friday that they hope Olympia Rep. Brendan Williams was just blowing off steam when he threatened to quit this week over the apparent killing of legislation to give new-home buyers a warranty against construction defects. “I can’t imagine such an extreme reaction to a bill not coming up,” House Majority Leader Lynn Kessler, D-Hoquiam, said of Williams’ reaction to statements by House Speaker Frank Chopp, D-Seattle, that the consumer-protection measure needed more work this summer...“There is no point in continuing in this (job) if right-wing thugs like the Building Industry Association are allowed to run roughshod over the process,” Williams told the paper,

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Washington State: Homeowner Bill of Rights bill tabled as things get heated
Tuesday, 03 April 2007

Democratic State Senator Calls Democratic House Speaker Chopp a “Dictator.”
Weinstein believed he had his ducks in row to also pass the bill in the House. Last summer, he says, he met with powerhouse House Speaker Rep. Frank Chopp (D-43, Seattle) at Chopp’s de facto office, the Tully’s on 45th in Wallingford. Chopp, Weinstein recalls, said the idea sounded good... However, earlier this week, after the House Judiciary Committee passed the bill onto the Rules Committee, Speaker Chopp tabled the bill...Anybody can get sued. Homebuilders are the only people in this state that can’t get sued. Aren’t they willing to stand by their work?”..This is democracy at its worst. Here is one guy that overruled 30 Democratic Senators and the Democratic House Judiciary Committee. What’s the point of working hard on a bill? There’s no point in doing the fact finding, holding eight hours of hearings, of doing the right thing, if a dicatator can just pull the rug out from under you. I feel helpless.

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Washington State - Builder overplayed their hand badly
Tuesday, 03 April 2007

Reuteman: Greed vs. greed battle throws us all for a loss
Opponents of the controversial Homeowner Protection Act now have overplayed their hand so badly that their fears of frivolous lawsuits and higher housing costs will likely be tested in the marketplace. Trial lawyers and homebuilders have been fighting in the state legislature for years about the best way to resolve legal disputes over residential construction defects. The lawyers say homeowners don't have a strong enough "lemon law." Homebuilders complain that fee-happy barristers would rather take them to court than get a defect corrected. If there's anything worse than a sore loser, it's a sore winner, and this long-running catfight has both.

Read more...
 
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