Bill to Fix Lien Process Appears Dead in Senate

Legislation prepared by the AGC Legal Affairs Committee to fix mechanics’ lien processes muddled by the Athletic Fields court decision progressed a long way through the legislative process but unfortunately did not pass the Senate before the final cut-off date.

The legislation – House Bill 1708 – is sponsored by Rep. Jim Moeller (D-48 Vancouver) and addresses an adverse appeals court ruling which has been appealed to the State Supreme Court. If allowed to stand Williams v. Athletic Fields could invalidate virtually all construction liens filed using the statutory form. The legislation corrects internal inconsistencies in the law which resulted in the court’s interpretation which effectively voids the “safe harbor” language in state law used when filing liens.

In lieu of enactment of this legislation AGC’s Government Affairs Director Rick Slunaker will work with Legal Affairs Committee on next steps which would include ways to protect AGC members who may have filed liens with the statutory forms that may now be in jeopardy.

HB 1708 passed the House unanimously on March 4 and passed the Senate Committee on Labor and Commerce & Consumer Protection on March 25. AGC Legal Affairs Committee member John Riper of Ashbaugh Beal testified for the bill and has led the way in evaluating attempts to change it. For a more in-depth article by Riper from a previous issue of AGC Works click here.

For more info contact AGC Director of Government Affairs Rick Slunaker at 360-352-5000.