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WA Lege Day 95: Tax plans cometh

OLYMPIA -- Some Senate Democrats are going to unveil tax plans at lunchtime. They've filed a series of new bills that call for everything from a temporary increase in the sales tax to changing excise taxes to repealing some tax exemptions "to provide funding for essential government services."

All  have been referred to the Senate Ways and Means Committee, which is a bit busy right now trying to move the general operating fund budget to the floor. It also has a hearing on the capital projects budget this afternoon.

But maybe when that's done, and before the session runs out in 10 days, the committee can take up those tax bills.

In other action, Gov. Chris Gregoire signed the bill that bans phosphorus in lawn fertilizer for most uses. Don't worry about rushing down to Home Depot to stock up, though. The ban doesn't take effect until January 2013.

Among other legislation also signed this morning were a bill to try to cut down on home foreclosures, another to allow wine and beer sampling at public markets and another that allows state employees to attend meetings with legislators in state facilities as long as they are informational rather than political in nature.

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The Spokesman-Review's political team keeps a critical eye on local, state and national politics.