Washington State House Democrats


Governor signs Rep. Gregerson’s bills to protect homeowners, boost college efficiency

Homeowners facing foreclosure will gain increased protection in their dealings with lenders under a bill by Rep. Mia Gregerson that was signed into law March 31 by Gov. Inslee.

Inslee also signed a second Gregerson bill March 31 that eliminates extensive financial-aid reporting requirements for four-year state colleges if they stay within legislative guidelines on tuition increases.

The approvals bring to four the number of Gregerson-sponsored bills enacted into law in the 2014 legislative session – her first, due to her appointment to the House only late last year to fill an unexpired term.

“It’s gratifying to me that in my first session, I was able to have a personal impact on issues important to me: consumer protection, government efficiency, taxpayer fairness and support for our public-safety workers” Gregerson, a SeaTac Democrat, said. “But it’s a team effort: These bills represent the collaborative efforts of legislators both Democratic and Republican and of many advocates and involved residents.”

Signed by the governor March 31 were:

House Bill 2723, which adds safeguards for homeowners and makes other adjustments to the Foreclosure Fairness Act, the 2011 law that protects borrowers from predatory and unscrupulous practices by lenders in home foreclosures.  The measure was supported by lenders and housing advocates.

House Bill 2613, which increases governmental efficiency by eliminating extensive financial-aid reporting requirements adopted in line with tuition increases that are no longer occurring. The requirements were imposed in 2011, when the Legislature gave four-year state colleges authority to raise tuition  to offset cuts in state support, and lawmakers wanted to know what the schools were doing to ease the burden on students. With improved support for higher education approved by the Legislature in 2013 and 2104, the schools have frozen tuition levels – and if they stick to the tuition blueprint adopted by the Legislature to reflect the improved financial situation, the colleges do not have to file the reports.

Gregerson bills signed earlier by the governor are:

House Bill 2446, which makes it easier for homeowners and other properly owners to get a property-tax refund if they paid more than they owed.

House Bill 2456, which protects pension benefits for certain full-time emergency medical technicians.

Gregerson was appointed to the House late last year to serve out the unexpired term of Dave Upthegrove, who was elected to the King County Council in November.