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Spin Control

Thu., March 3, 2011, 9:55 a.m.

WA Lege Day 53: Bills, bills, bills

OLYMPIA -- With the session now officially half over after late evening sessions on Wednesday, both chambers are scheduled Thursday for a day of votes on a wide range of topics.

Last night the Senate passed the latest version of  SB 5073, which sets up rules for the dispensing of medical marijuana, on a 29-20 vote. It allows patients to purchase medical marijuana from licensed dispensaries if they're part of a regulated patient group, or to get it from a designated provider. The Department of health would regulate growers and the Department of Health would regulate dispensaries; patients could also sign up on a voluntary registry which police could check before making arrests.

Among the bills passed last night in the House was HB 2003 which changed the eligibility levels for the Children's Health Insurance Program. Families above 200 percent of the federal poverty level would have to pay the costs of premiums to stay in CHIP. It's part of the enabling legislation that follows the supplemental budget approved last month.

Sometime this morning the Senate is expected to vote on new campaign rules that would make it easier for the public to tell who's behind some of those political committees that pop up around election time and dump boatloads of money into ads and mailers.

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Jim Camden
Jim Camden joined The Spokesman-Review in 1981. He is currently the political reporter and state government reporter in the newspaper's Olympia bureau office.

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