Legislature: Day 96 for Friday, April 15

April 15, 2011 

Good morning. Today is Friday, the 96th day of the 105-day session.

BILLS INTRODUCED

With 10 days left of the regular session, members of both the House and Senate introduced a slew of bills to end some tax preferences in order to pay for state services. Tax exemptions targeted in the proposals include those for nonresidents, chicken bedding and large banks.

Top Republican lawmakers have introduced a bill aimed at generating revenue by privatizing Washington’s wholesale liquor distribution.

The measure would establish a competitive bidding process for the right to handle the distribution side of the state-run liquor business. The winner would pay the state an undetermined up-front sum, followed by profit-sharing over the course of the contract.

House lawmakers on Saturday approved their version of the next two-year budget, which includes a liquor privatization plan.

The Senate bill now goes to the Ways and Means Committee.

FLOOR ACTION

The Senate approved House amendments to Senate Bill 5000, which would require a 12-hour impound on vehicles belonging to people who are arrested on suspicion of driving drunk, sending it to the governor.

The House concurred with Senate amendments on House Bill 1789, a proposal to expand the number of people who have to get ignition interlock devices for their cars. That bill also goes to the governor.

BILLS SIGNED

Gov. Chris Gregoire signed several bills into law, including House Bill 1489, which limits when and where people can use lawn fertilizer that contains phosphorus, and House Bill 1172, which will allow some farmers markets to have beer and wine tasting.

TODAY

The Senate Ways and Means Committee is scheduled to vote on the Senate budget proposal that lawmakers unveiled Tuesday.

The Senate Committee on Health and Long Term Care is scheduled to vote on Senate Bill 5926, which would put a proposal on the ballot to pay for in-home Medicaid services by repealing a sales-tax exemption for some out-of-state residents.

The House Ways and Means Committee is scheduled to vote Senate Bill 5119, which would cancel the 2012 presidential primary, and Senate Bill 5907, a proposal to enact some prison safety recommendations that came from a review of the killing of a guard at Monroe Correctional Complex in January.

The Evergreen Freedom Foundation, as well as a tea party group and a progressive group called Fuse Washington, have scheduled competing “tax day” rallies on the Capitol Campus, with one side calling for less state spending and the other asking for fewer cuts.

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