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Ranker’s priority bills approved by Legislature, head to governor for signature

State Sen. Kevin Ranker's priority bills were approved by the Legislature and sent to the governor’s desk for signature.

“We spent dozens of hours both prior and during the legislative session to build consensus around these bills,” Ranker said in a press release. “These bills passed with significant bipartisan support in both chambers due to the efforts of numerous individuals including dozens of citizens from our communities.”

The hallmark of Ranker’s proposals, Senate Bill 6350, will implement marine spatial planning, limiting user conflicts between the increasing number of existing and new uses being proposed in the state’s marine waters.

“In order to maximize the benefits our Sound and ocean provide – both ecologically and economically – we urgently need a comprehensive process to rationally guide the multiple management objectives,” Ranker said.

The Legislature also passed five other Ranker-sponsored measures:

— SB 6557 requires brake pads be made of substances less detrimental to the environment, excluding harmful heavy metals like copper. This bill is already recognized as a national model for coastal states throughout the country.

— SB 6634 increases accountability for the state’s dairy nutrient program by establishing fines for non-compliance.

— SB 6346 allows residents of San Juan County to operate neighborhood electric vehicles and medium-speed electric vehicles on city streets and county roads that are not state routes, provided the speed limit is 45 mph or less.

SB 6349 will allow farms with gross sales of less than $250,000 annually to establish internship programs for future farmers who are not enrolled in classes to work on farms throughout the state.

SB 6373 directs the Department of Ecology to adopt rules requiring people to report emissions of greenhouse gases where those emissions from a single facility, source or site, or from fossil fuels sold in Washington by single supplier meet or exceed 10,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide annually.

Gov. Chris Gregoire has up to 20 days following the adjournment of the 2010 session to take action on the bills.

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