As the fourth week of the legislative session wraps up, we are looking ahead to next week when a flood of bills will get hearings in Senate and House committees. Here are a few interesting bills to keep an eye on:
Sales tax slice
Senate Bill 5529 would create a sales tax holiday to help parents save money on their kids’ back-to-school shopping needs. A dozen other states have passed similar legislation. Like most general sales tax holidays around the country, it would take place in August before school starts. The tax exemption would be limited to clothing and school supplies. The bill, sponsored by Sen. Ann Rivers (R-La Center), will be heard in the Senate Committee on Trade & Economic Development on Feb. 14 at 8 a.m.
Studded tires targeted
Senate Bill 5583 would require a $75 permit for people who want to use studded tires on their vehicles during winter months. The permit would have to be purchased each year and the funds would be used for highway preservation. Studded tires are allowed from November 1 until March 31, but transportation officials say they cause an estimated $17.8 million to $27.3 million in damage to state highways each year. The bill, sponsored by Rep. Don Benton (R-Vancouver), will get a hearing in the Senate Transportation Committee on Feb. 13 at 3:30 p.m.
Naming rights for rest stops?
Senate Bill 5584 would create revenue by selling naming rights to streets, rest stops, highway ramps, bridges, viewpoints and other state-owned property that may offer commercial appeal. A similar measure has been introduced in the house. The Senate’s version will be heard in the Senate Transportation Committee on Feb. 12 at 3:30 p.m.
To watch the hearings, check TVW’s schedule for links and air times.