Jolt

Suprise Opposition

By Afternoon Jolt March 17, 2011

Just like Wednesday's Jolt, rather than going with a winner or loser (there's enough of that sort of thing in the budget news), we're going with a literal jolt.

Indeed, during this morning's senate hearing on Sen. Dan Swecker's (R-20, Rochester) legislation to help cities save money by delaying the implementation of the growth management act, environmentalists broke up the group hug by surprising proponents of the bill with a reality check. Namely, they still don't like this bill.

First, Dave Williams of the Association of Cities, dismissed earlier controversy over the original version, applauding the renewed consensus and testifying that, "the language in the bill is agreed to by the environmental community, the governor's office, and cities and counties."

But then, after committee chair, Craig Pridemore (D-49, Vancouver) introduced the next set of panelist saying, "if I understand Williams' testimony, you guys are all in favor and on board now," the Kumbaya hit a sour note. The panel included Cliff Traisman, lobbyist for Washington Conservation Voters and Washington's Environmental Council—basically the green team captain in Olympia.

Traisman rebuked Williams' testimony, saying, "we are very opposed to SB 1478. For many reasons."

Here's what burns environmentalists. The bill proports to offer cities and counties a temporary break, helping out during the recession by putting off environmental benchmarks—pushing off requirments for another few years. To put off imminent deadlines, the bill establishes 10 year goals rather than the current seven year goals.

The problem? There's nothing temporary about this fix. The bill makes the 10 year timeline permanent.
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