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Eye On Olympia

How to be immortal: Dead bills haunt the Internet, and keep on scaring people…

Two dead bills involving new fees on your car — both of which were dead on arrival when lawmakers filed them this year — continue to live on in the Internet, where they’re spurring get-a-load-of-this blog posts and angry calls to action. (And it’s working. I get calls and e-mails about these proposals virtually every day.)

What are they? Senate Bill 6900 and Senate Bill 6923.

SB 6900, prime-sponsored by Sen. Rodney Tom, D-Medina, would have charged vehicle owners a yearly fee based on engine size. (Nothing for displacement of 1.9 liters or less, $70 a year for up to 3 liters, up to $600 a year for an 8-liter behemoth.)

The idea behind Sen. Ed Murray’s SB 6923 is the same, but it would have based its fees ($40 to $240) on miles per gallon.

In both cases, the millions of dollars raised would go to transportation projects.

And in both cases, the bills are dead. Neither got out of committee before a key deadline on Feb. 12. In fact, legislative staff didn’t even bother writing bill reports summarizing the proposals. Barring some highly unlikely procedural acrobatics to revive these ideas, these bills will not become law this year.

Lawmakers, including Tom, have been trying to make that point to people who contact them. But the angst continues, spreading to websites catering to sport fishing, corvette owners, volkswagen fans, gun owners and duck hunters, among many others. Recent excerpts:

“These guys need to be run over by a semi…that is if the owner of the truck can still afford to drive it!”

said a post from this morning on www.washingtonvotes.org.

“…The proposals are believed to be deliberately aimed towards trucks and SUVs.”

reads a post read 10,000 times on truckblog.

“Democrat Eco-Commies in Olympia and D.C. Must be stopped!…Forward this email to everyone you know and stop this bill.”

trumpets a 1,700-word blog post from yesterday.

“It’s been passed in Washington, and they’re trying to get it passed in other states. This is gonna really suck for those V8s now. I can’t find a good link to the article about it though but I’ve been hearing about it on the radio.”

claims a post on a Chevy truck enthusiast site, S10planet.com.


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Richard Roesler covers Washington state news from The Spokesman-Review's bureau in Olympia.

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