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Proposed Victoria Travel Ban Withdrawn By Washington State Lawmakers

Ian D. Keating
Flickr -
File photo of the British Columbia Parliament Buildings in Victoria, Canada.

Washington state lawmakers have flushed a proposed ban on state business travel to Victoria, British Columbia. The travel restriction surfaced last month in one version of a state budget. It was meant to pressure Victoria to stop dumping raw sewage into shared border waters.

But the proviso was dropped from the final budget the Washington Legislature approved Tuesday. State Rep. Jeff Morris said the reason was because decision makers in the Victoria capital region picked two locations to build sewage treatment plants.

"We've withdrawn the restriction, but we're monitoring them moving forward on those two sites,” Morris said. “If they lose federal money that is on the table, we're going to call for a wider tourism boycott. So at this point, we're trusting but verifying."

While Victoria can breathe easier, Washington Gov. Jay Inslee Tuesday banned "non-essential" state business travel to North Carolina. That's in protest of North Carolina's recent passage of transgender bathroom legislation, which Inslee, a Democrat, called "discriminatory."

Now semi-retired, Tom Banse covered national news, business, science, public policy, Olympic sports and human interest stories from across the Northwest. He reported from well known and out–of–the–way places in the region where important, amusing, touching, or outrageous events unfolded. Tom's stories can be found online and were heard on-air during "Morning Edition" and "All Things Considered" on NPR stations in Washington, Oregon, and Idaho.