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Thursday, April 25, 2019  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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2008 legislative session promises to be busy one

By Richard Roesler Staff writer

OLYMPIA – With a month to go before lawmakers pack their cars and flock to Olympia, 2008 is already shaping up to be a busy legislative session.

More than two dozen lawmakers already have proposed about 50 changes in state law, including a 10-cents-a-gallon carbon tax on gasoline, tighter controls on released sex offenders and a ban on many plastic water bottles.

Many of the bills are rough proposals likely to change before passing, if they survive at all. And some – like the carbon tax bill – would likely prove a very hard sell in an election year. Here’s a look at some of the bills filed so far for consideration in the session that begins Jan. 14:

House Bill 2420: Proposed by state Rep. Maralyn Chase, D-Edmonds, this would discourage greenhouse gas production by assessing coal, gasoline and natural gas importers a $10-per-ton tax on the resulting carbon emissions. Motorists would be charged a dime more per gallon of fuel. Both taxes would increase tenfold by 2017.

HB 2425: State Rep Tom Campbell, R-Roy, wants to set up a statewide system to better monitor drug-resistant bacterial infections.

HB 2436: State Rep. Christina Rolfes, D-Bainbridge Island, proposes allowing crime victims to weigh in when state prison officials are deciding whether a person can go into a work-release program.

HB 2422: Also from Chase, this would ban petroleum-based plastic water bottles smaller that a liter.

HB 2438: Rep. Joel Kretz, R-Wauconda, wants to make permanent a pilot project that allows the use of dogs to hunt cougars in some areas. Once common, the practice was reined in when voters overwhelmingly passed Initiative 655 in 1996.

HB 2433: Rep. Al O’Brien, D-Mountlake Terrace, proposes that state general-assistance payments be suspended for anyone in prison or jail.

HB 2425: This bill from Chase would require sellers of lawn mowers, chain saws, leaf blowers, off-road vehicles and other small gas-engine-powered equipment to put up signs describing the benefits of choosing electric models instead.

HB 2439: Rep. Skip Priest, R-Federal Way, proposes requiring prison officials to determine the immigration status of sex offenders and hand off any that are subject to deportation to federal authorities.

HB 2440: Also from Priest, this would require electronic monitoring of all sex offenders rated most likely to reoffend, who register as homeless or who have failed to register in the past.

HB 2444: Rep. Kirk Pearson, R-Monroe, wants to force all sex offenders and convicted kidnappers to disclose any e-mail addresses they use or Web sites they run.

HB 2446: Rep. John Ahern, R-Spokane, is proposing tougher penalties for sex offenders who fail to register with authorities.

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