Washington Gov. Jay Inslee vetoed an updated version of the state’s self-storage lien law earlier this month as part of a sweeping condemnation of the legislature’s failure to reach a supplemental budget deal during the short session. Senate Bill 6148 would have clarified storage operators’ right to tow rather than auction campers, cars, trailers, RVs and watercraft if tenants are more than 60 days delinquent on rent. Inslee vetoed the measure along with 26 other bills, signing only 10 bills into law, according to a source.
“Given legislators’ inability to complete their No. 1 job, I measured these bills against the importance of the budget and set a very high bar,” Inslee said. “I recognize this is perhaps the largest single batch of vetoes in history. None of these vetoed bills were as important as the fundamental responsibility of passing a budget."
The Washington Self Storage Association (WASSA) and national Self Storage Association have both lobbied for the updated wording to clarify the types of vehicles that can be removed from storage properties. An update to the lien law passed last year, but the current version designates only motor vehicles and watercraft as subject to towing.
SB 6148 passed unanimously through the Senate on Feb. 12 as well as the House on March 1. It has a companion bill, House Bill 2305.
Don Arsenault, vice president of WASSA, believed it would be easier to pass the new version than it was to pass the existing version in 2015, he told the source. “Politics are taking a greater and greater toll on lawmaking,” he said. “We had a 100 percent vote for our bill. How does one overcome the stagnation in politics? Our bill compared to the problems in the state is a nothing bill. It’s fully inconsequential, which is why we got full support.”
It’s possible the bill could still pass with a veto override, but if that effort fails, the legislature would have to revisit the measure again next year.
- King 5 News: Inslee Vetoes 27 Bills After Lawmakers Fail to Reach Budget Deal
- Storage.com: Washington Self Storage Bill Caught in Budget Crossfire
- Washington State Legislature: SB 6148