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Posts tagged: phosphorus fertilizer

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.

WA Lege Day 75: Senate OKs phosphorus fertilizer ban for lawns

OLYMPIA — The Senate approved a ban on phosphorus in lawn fertilizers, but with changes that will send the bill  back to the House for another vote.

Among the changes: HB 1489 no longer exempts commercial organic fertilizers that contain phosphorus, and no longer has a broad statement about the problems the chemical can cause because of disputed research. It still allows phosphorus fertilizers to be used to get lawns started or to restore damaged lawns, and is aimed at discouraging residential users from putting the chemical on healthy lawns for fear that it will wash off with the rain or excessive watering, then flow into nearby lakes and streams.

It's opposed by farm groups but supported by some cities, including the City of Spokane, as well as other entities that discharge into the Spokane River as a way to reduce the phosphorus levels in the river and Lake Spokane, where the chemical is thought to contribute to algae problems.

Among the companies backing the ban is the Inland Empire Paper Company, which has the same corporate parent as The Spokesman-Review.

The bill passed 32-16, but not before a floor debate that included a dispute over, ahem, human waste in organic fertilizers.

“All human waste contains phosphorus,” Sen. Mike Carrell, R-Lakewood, said.

OK then. Good to know.

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About this blog

Jim Camden is a veteran political reporter for The Spokesman-Review.

Jonathan Brunt is an enterprise reporter for The Spokesman-Review.

Kip Hill is a general assignments reporter for The Spokesman-Review.

Nick Deshais covers Spokane City Hall for The Spokesman-Review.

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