Opinion

Our Voice: Thumbs down to title-only bills in the Legislature

Say what?

To title-only bills in the Legislature.

Legilators are clever. They have come up with a way to get around their own rules. Clever, yes; honest, no.

The deadline to file a bill this year was Feb. 20. Sponsors who didn’t have their proposal written, just gave their bill a vague title name like SB 6062’s “Relating to marijuana” and filed it anyway as a placeholder. They will come back later and fill in the details.

These hollow bills lack information and transparency. That’s not good enough for Washington voters — especially those who have a stake in a particular bill.

A bill worth dropping deserves more than a title.

Progress at the ports

To everyone who helped in settle negotiations with the dockworkers.

We’ve been grousing about slow-down tactics at the West Coast ports. They have hurt the Mid-Columbia directly and through a ripple effect.

So we’re glad to see things are moving again.

It will be too late for some products that have been sitting in containers on the dock for months. And it will take time to restore our reputation as a dependable supplier to some foreign markets.

Let that process begin.

Curbside clothing

Curbside recycling makes it easier for people to reduce what goes to the landfill.

Goodwill has partnered with the city of Richland to provide curbside pickup for clothing that might otherwise end up in the landfill as well.

It’s a win for people who want to donate clothes they don’t use anymore and for people who work at Goodwill. It also helps a little bit at the landfill and even benefits people in Third World countries who receive the clothes that don’t make the cut for retail.

There are two programs like this in the country. It doesn’t surprise us that one of them is in the Mid-Columbia.

Now you’re talking

To the progress made on a regional dispatch center.

We’re on record as favoring a regional dispatching system. The Tri-Cities is one community in many ways. First responders cross the city limits whenever there is a need. It’s vitally important that these men and women can communicate with each other.

We are not, however, in a position to dictate the best way to achieve the goal. So we’re glad to see the stakeholders coming together and making a decision that will work for everyone.

Congratulations to Pasco, Kennewick and Richland, and to Benton and Franklin counties for clearing the hurdles to make this happen.

There is a cost involved. At $9.4 million, it won’t be cheap. But we can’t really afford the alternative, which is putting responders and people in harm’s way.

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