Spin Control

WA Lege Day 66: Higher ed, cigars, legalized pot

OLYMPIA -- Hearings today include several bills on community colleges, another on cigar lounges and a "work session" on marijuana.

And no, the last one doesn't involve learning how to roll.

Senate Higher Education has an afternoon session that features a bill on need grants for college students, another on salaries for community college instructors, another on innovation at community college and another on student loans for the aerospace training program. Then there's a proposal to allow universities out of state laws requiring them to buy at least 2 percent of their supplies and equipment from Department of Corrections operations.

Senate Ways and Means will hear a proposal to set up special licenses for "cigar lounges" and tobacco shops that would let them get around state laws against smoking in public buildings.

House Ways and Means has a session on regulating the production, distribution and sale of cannabis, which will follow closely on the heels of a press conference of legislators and others who support legalizing marijuana. It's designed to support HB 1550, which got a hearing early last month in the House Public Safety Committee, which has shown no sign of voting it out. That's slightly better than the Senate companion bill, however, which didn't even get a hearing.

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Jim Camden
Jim Camden is the Olympia bureau chief, covering the Legislature and state government. He also is a political columnist and blogger for Spin Control.

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