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Thursday, October 20, 2011

 4:27 PM 

Assembly passes transportation bill after lengthy wind energy debate

The Assembly began moving through a slew of transportation-related proposals, including voice votes backing Assembly Bills 248 and 252.

But things hit a snag with a Dem amendment to AB 253 -- dealing with pole and pipe permits for overlength vehicles -- that would have established rules for the state's wind energy sector according to Minority Leader Peter Barca.

Barca said Republicans were stalling the final phase in the state's wind siting rules and had an opportunity to put wind energy-related construction workers to work almost immediately.

"There is a lack of focus in this body," Barca said. "You have a lack of energy, a lack of imagination and certainly a lack of urgency."

Republicans responded that the amendment should have been brought earlier.

"This is great theater, but this amendment was brought up today," said Rep. Scott Suder, R-Abbotsford. "The gotcha tactics, the fun and games are just that. Everybody realizes that."

The amendment was tabled 36-60 after more than an hour of debate. The bill then passed on a voice vote.

The chamber previously approved a measure allowing state courts to take jurisdiction over restraining orders for out-of-state domestic abuse, child abuse and harassment on a voice vote.


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