OLYMPIA -- Senators ran through a list of non-controversial bills -- and argued over one contentious one -- then broke for party caucuses before taking up budgets.
Republicans tried unsuccessfully to push through a series of amendments to HB 1080, which allows impact fees to be assessed and collected for fire protection districts. They argued that impact fees will cause further problems for the struggling housing construction market and cost jobs; Democrats said the issue isn't construction jobs, it's paying for fire protection in developiing areas.They passed it 31-14.
Also passed, with unanimity or close to it, were bills on fire protection facilities, biodiesel fuel labeling, deferred prosecution costs and tax reporting surveys.
Debate on the Senate's transportation and general fund budgets is scheduled for later this afternoon. Scheduled, but not guaranteed.