SB 5236

SB 5236 was introduced on 1/16/2015. Main sponsors are Senators Sheldon and Rivers. Referred to Committee.

The bill would amend RCW 64.38.025(3) and require that for associations with membership of two thousand or more that the budget be “ratified or rejected by a majority of votes cast by members in person or by proxy.”

The current ratification language in RCW 64.38 is one of the most elegant provisions in the statute – it protects the interests of the majority of the total population by giving owners the right to reject a budget while simultaneously recognizing that the vast majority of owners in large associations tend to be rationally indifferent to budgeting so long as the grass is cut, landscaping and roads are maintained, and the entry way sign looks nice.

The result of this legislation would be to defeat budgets – which is its likely intent – thus resulting in the remaining owners watching common areas and facilities tend toward disrepair. The proposed bill no matter how well-intentioned is not responsible legislation. Like a small city, a large association needs a budget to operate.

About Brian P. McLean

BRIAN P. McLEAN is an attorney and shareholder at Leahy McLean Fjelstad in Seattle, Washington. He concentrates his practice in the area of community association law. He received his law and undergraduate degrees from Seattle University, where he was a member of Law Review, chair of the law school’s Moot Court Board, and commencement speaker for his graduating class. Brian speaks and writes frequently about community association issues, is a member of the Washington State Bar Association, and is a former board member of the Washington State Chapter of the Community Associations Institute (WSCAI) where he served as president from 2009 - 2010. He served previously as chair of WSCAI’s Legislative Action Committee, where he worked with state legislators to enact mandatory reserve study legislation in Washington State. Brian is former lead singer, guitarist, and songwriter for the now defunct Pacific Northwest band the Acetones.
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