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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

Spin Control

Sunday Spin 3: Color coded

Something the public might not realize about the Legislature is they push around tons of paper. First, there are a couple thousand bills, some of them many pages long, that have to be printed. Then there are amendments, sometimes so multiple that legislative staff presents them on colored paper to help lawmakers keep track.

The descriptions of those colors raised eyebrows recently in the Commerce and Labor Committee as lawmakers pushed through bills and amendments ahead of a deadline. One amendment was on cherry, staff said. Sen. Mike Baumgartner, R-Spokane, sorted through his stack until finding the proper paper, which he described in the more familiar “pink.:”

The next was on orchid. “Purple,” Sen. Karen Keiser, D-Kent, translated. There were also amendments on magenta, salmon, goldenrod and ivory. That last one probably should be renamed, given the state’s ban on ivory passed by voters last year.

Jim Camden
Jim Camden joined The Spokesman-Review in 1981 and retired in 2021. He is currently the political and state government correspondent covering Washington state.

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