The collateral damage from the Republicans' surprise takeover of the state senate last Friday, which we covered this morning, included a couple more bills that might have passed out of the legislature if not for the GOP's decision to hijack the process.

First, the toxic toys bill---which would have banned certain toxic chemicals from children's toys---died. The bill, which would have banned the addition of flame retardant chemicals known collectively as TRIS from children's product, had overcome an earlier snag, when a Republican state representative proposed banning the chemicals from sex toys used by women as well.

However, Washington Environmental Council outreach director Lisa Remlinger says supporters of the bill are optimistic that if the legislature goes into special session, the bill will be revived. And Rep. Dave Upthegrove (D-33) has said he's confident that the bill has enough votes to pass the house in its current form.

Second, legislation that would allow the Central Cinema to continue serving wine and beer to its patrons was also a casualty of Friday's budget carnage. "We would be hoping that, given how close we came to the legislation being enacted, that we'll be able to work with the [state] Liquor Control Board in the meantime to find some way to address it," city lobbyist Craig Engelking told the city council this morning.

Finally, in better news for Seattle, legislation giving cities and counties more options to pay for transit is still alive; in its current form, the bill would allow any city that forms a transportation benefit district, except Seattle, to impose a vehicle license fee of up to $40; Seattle (which already has a $20 VLF) would have to put any additional license fee to a public vote.

Additionally, counties can put a motor-vehicle excise tax of up to 1 percent on the ballot, and Seattle can ask voters to pass a local-option gas tax of up to one cent per gallon.

A 1 percent MVET could produce as much as $100 million annually for King County Metro, which would allow the transit agency to not only preserve current service but increase service where demand increases, such as in downtown Seattle during construction of the deep-bore tunnel.
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