Although the state legislature hasn’t yet made the time to figure out what to do about the $8.5 billion budget deficit, they did make the time last week to pass a “consumer protection” bill mandating warranties on new home construction.
House Bill 1393 also creates an “office of consumer education for home construction” as a division of the attorney general’s office.
From the Associated Press coverage:
Under the measure narrowly passed by the Senate on Wednesday, warranties on new homes would be guaranteed by law, with most elements of a new home being guaranteed for four years. Damages from water penetration would be covered for six years.
Bill sponsor Sen. Rodney Tom, D-Medina, said the housing market collapse made this year a good time to enact the bill after several years of attempts.
“If there’s never a good time from the builders’ standpoint, when is a good point from a consumer standpoint?” Tom asked during debate Wednesday.
I wouldn’t consider myself to be a big friend or fan of builders, but I have to say that I don’t see the pressing need for a bill like this. Do we really need a government bureaucracy managing home warranties? Don’t new home buyers already have the ability to pursue legal action if they are sold a grossly defective product?
If someone who is a big fan of this bill would like to write up an explanation of why it is needed, I’ll happily post it here, but to me this appears to be a rather pointless waste of everyone’s time, money, and resources, and using the bursting bubble in the housing market as an excuse to push it through raises even more red flags in my mind.