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Bag bill mix-up mistakenly introduces legislation

Post by Alexis Krell / The News Tribune on Jan. 11, 2012 at 12:21 pm |
January 11, 2012 1:00 pm

Rep. Joe Fitzgibbon, D-Burien, is fighting for a statewide ban on disposable plastic bags, but a bill mistakenly introduced yesterday that he’s listed as sponsoring would in fact make it harder for cities to impose bag bans.

Whoops.

House bill 2250, introduced Tuesday, would only allow bans to be imposed at the county level. It requires at least three cities in a county to request the ban for it to be approved, among other regulations.

Fitzgibbon’s office confirmed that he did not intend to introduce the legislation, citing a clerical error and declining to provide further detail. It’s not clear where the text of the bill came from.

Fitzgibbon will announce his intended bill Thursday, which he says will impose a statewide ban on disposable plastic bags and charge 5 cents for paper ones. It’s similar to House Bill 1877, which Fitzgibbon introduced last year and was reintroduced this week.

He said he thinks the new bill will have more momentum, given that more Washington cities have chosen to ban bags in the past year. Bellingham, Edmonds, Mukilteo and Seattle have all approved bans.

However, he isn’t sure it will get the votes it needs either.

“I think it’s probably a long shot … regardless, I think it’s valuable to have the hearing and keep the conversation alive,” Fitzgibbon said.

See the Associated Press story on the possibility of a statewide ban here.

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