As 2008 gets rolling, your lawmakers are getting back to the business of budgets and lawmaking in Olympia. Of course, with this being an election year you can expect to hear a lot of talk about “doing something” to address the latest hot issues that are on everyone’s mind.
So what is one of the biggest issues they intend to “do something” about this year? You guessed it… the “housing crisis.”
Legislative leaders tried to keep expectations to a minimum this week as they prepared to convene Monday for the 2008 session.
A good portion of their energy will go toward responding to big events from 2007: fallout from the housing crisis…
Sen. Majority Leader Lisa Brown, D-Spokane, said her caucus has prepared a package of housing and home security bills and plans to begin working on them in the first weeks of the session.
“There have been a lot of successes in our state, the economy has been strong, unemployment rates have been low, but people are starting to feel an sense of uncertainty,” Brown said.
Awesome. So like we all already knew, our state is special and strong and all that, but our legislators are going to work hard to pass laws and spend our tax money to address “feelings.”
“They are feeling a sense of political uncertainty, they don’t know what will happen in the coming year. They are feeling a sense of economic uncertainty as they hear bad news and when they look at their own bottom line, things can be deteriorating.”
Oh. I guess it’s not just feelings, but actual financial hard times, even for people in our own special corner of the country. But I thought we were immune.
House Speaker Frank Chopp, D-Seattle, agreed that the state needed to address housing security.
“There is nothing that comes closer to the American family than their home,” he said. “We’ve got to help people … to get that leg up in order to get into a home, and to help them through the difficult times.”
“Our goal is to help people with those very basic checkbook issues that they are struggling with or are concerned about … immediately,” Brown said.
Can someone please explain why it should be the government’s responsibility to help people own a home, or to deal with “basic checkbook issues” when they have frittered away their money and their home equity on plasma TVs and SUVs? I’m just not feeling it here. Seems to me that people should be responsible for their own “checkbook issues.”
Here’s a crazy concept: Don’t buy stuff you cannot afford.
(Aubrey Cohen, Seattle P-I, 01.10.2007)