Generally, the bill would prohibit phone book publishers from distributing yellow pages to people on a city-run opt-out list and fine those found flouting the law.
The council was initially scheduled to vote on the bill last Monday, but postponed it by a week because of some concerns raised by city council member Sally Bagshaw that the ordinance would affect business groups and non-profits. The Greater Seattle Business Association, which distributes a small phone book of gay-run and gay-friendly businesses, and the West Seattle Chamber, which publishes the West Seattle Community Resources Guide, told the council last Monday that they were afraid the ordinance could penalize them.
In the new draft of the bill, the council is attempting to assuage those groups. The bill Would exempt organizations that distribute directories to their membership. Bagshaw's staff told The Stranger today that she had worked with council member and bill sponsor Mike O'Brien last week to address her concerns and was ready to vote for the ordinance. The amended ordinance focuses the regulation on those distributors (rather then publishers) that are generating the largest amount of unwanted material in the waste stream. The amendments also specifically exempt organizations that distribute phone books to people who request a book, or who distribute less than 4 tons of paper annually.
Both Bagshaw and O'Brien are currently in committee meetings and couldn't be reached for comment. Although O'Brien has Bagshaw's support now, he still faces the wrath of the Yellow Pages lobbyists who vehemently oppose the bill.