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Eye On Olympia

Wed., March 19, 2008, 11:58 a.m.

Even after the session, SB 6900 lives on…

As lawmakers prepare their post-session fliers – paid for by you – you can expect to yet again hear scary things about a bill that would have charged Washingtonians a yearly fee based on engine size.

Senate Bill 6900, as I've written here before, was dead on arrival. It never made it to a vote in either the House or Senate.

Yet it remains a handy political piñata for rural Republicans.

"It's the gift that keeps on giving," said Rep. Joel Kretz, R-Wauconda.

"It's wonderful," chuckled Rep. Larry Crouse, R-Spokane. "It's already in my session brochure."

"Talk about lighting up the e-mail," said freshman Rep. Joe Schmick, R-Colfax, who said he got 500 complaints about the bill from his Palouse district alone. "They were going to tax mothers with minvans 275 bucks. Where's the logic in that?"

Still, climate change is definitely on the minds of the governor and the Legislature's Democratic majority. Sen. Chris Marr, who shepherded through a controversial bill setting up a framework for encouraging denser communities as a way to limit auto emissions, noted this about the debate this year: No longer are most lawmakers arguing that global warming is real. Nor are most arguing that man contributes to that. Instead, the debate now focuses on the details of what to do about it.

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