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Bottle bill, election laws shouldn’t get lost in last-minute frenzy on Beacon Hill

The change of pace on Beacon Hill in July is always jarring. For weeks, bills barely inch forward. But as the session enters its final days, there’s a frenzy of last-minute sausage-making. Some worthy ideas get left out in conference committee, or simply run out of time. As the end of the session looms, lawmakers should be sure to pass these measures:

Bottle bill. To the surprise and elation of environmental groups, the Senate recently approved an amendment that would extend the state’s deposit law to beverages other than beer and soda. In the years since the nickel-a-container law was adopted, bottled water has exploded in popularity, and whole new categories of beverages have emerged; one can almost marvel at the sheer variety of non-fizzy drinks among the bottles tossed on local streets. The House has avoided anything that looks like a revenue hike, but the bottle bill isn’t a tax for people who return their empties. It’s an effective measure that discourages litter, and the House should go along.

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