As expected, the US Senate passed the Marketplace Fairness Act by a 69-27 margin today, allowing states to collect sales tax on Internet and other out-of-state sales. And as expected, the bill faces stiff opposition in the US House, where the Republican majority pretty much opposes anything that could possibly be labeled a tax increase. (Of course, it's not really a tax increase; it just makes online retailers collect the "use tax" that customers already owe, but 99 percent don't pay.)

At stake is over half a billion dollars a year in revenue for Washington State, money that sure would make writing the next budget a little easier.