Senate passes $48 million transporation budget

OLYMPIA — The Washington state Senate has passed a transportation budget with $48 million in new spending over the next year for freeway projects, transit, the state patrol and the ferry system.

The measure passed on a 44-5 vote Tuesday. The Senate plan has $9 million less in new spending than the transportation budget passed by the House on Monday. A joint-chamber conference will likely be needed to hammer out a compromise.

Cigarette taxes: The House has passed a bill to make roll-your-own cigarette stores collect cigarette taxes.

The measure passed Tuesday by a 67-30 vote and goes to the Senate.

Dozens of roll-your-own cigarette stores have appeared recently in Washington, selling cigarettes at less than half the price offered by most retailers. The stores allow customers to use machines that roll loose tobacco into cigarettes that are then sold by the carton.

The state tax per cigarette stands at 15 cents.

Bail bill fails: Snohomish County Prosecutor Mark Roe says he’s frustrated and disappointed that the Washington Legislature has failed for a second year to pass a bill setting a mandatory minimum upfront payment for bail

He told The News Tribune an initiative may be needed to address the problem that became evident after Maurice Clemmons killed four Lakewood police officers. Clemmons had won release on a pending child rape charge by paying $8,000 or about 4 percent of his $190,000 bail.

A task force on the issue could not agree on a minimum upfront payment, but it sent recommendations to the Legislature that were in a bill that died Friday.

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