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Politics Northwest

The Seattle Times political team explores national, state and local politics.

January 26, 2015 at 11:47 AM

The light bulb freedom movement comes to Olympia

OLYMPIA – Just when you started getting bored by all the budget talk down here comes the Washington state incandescent light bulb freedom act.

If light bulb freedom rings a bell for you, recall in 2008 and 2011 a movement by then-Rep. Michele Bachmann, R-Minn., calling on the federal government to stop telling people what light bulbs they can buy.

Politifact later noted that the government doesn’t really tell people what light bulbs they can buy. It raised the efficiency standards in 2007 for most incandescent light bulbs, and phased out some bulb designs as they existed then. And some bulbs, like those used for decorative purposes, were exempted, so hipster bars and restaurants everywhere can bask in the warmth of good old filament bulbs.

Nevertheless, the changes toward more efficient light bulbs spurred some hoarding around the country.

Now a bill sponsored by Rep. Elizabeth Scott, R-Monroe, and a handful of others would allow for home-grown incandescent bulbs to be sold within state lines.

Washingtonians “know better than the federal government what type of light bulb they prefer and should have the freedom to choose whether or not they wish to purchase and use incandescent light bulbs or some alternative to incandescent light bulbs,” according to the bill. As long as the bulbs are made in Washington and sold within state borders, they wouldn’t interfere with the federal government’s interstate commerce clause, according to the bill.

Read the proposal here.

 

 

Comments | More in State Legislature | Topics: 2015 legislative session, light bulb, Rep. Elizabeth Scott

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