At the Bremerton candidate forum this week, state Rep. Jan Angel attempted to justify voting against SB 6499, the bill modernizing toll collections. She said that under the bill, people who overlooked paying tolls would be fined without the right to be heard in court.
Section 3 subd (2)(b) says a civil penalty may be assessed pursuant to RCW 46.63.160, and requires that citations be processed as parking violations. It is clear from the bill that a person wanting to contest the assessment simply would fail to pay the toll and allow the citation to issue, then either pay the penalty or go to court.
Angel seems not to have read the bill or is intentionally misstating the bill as a reason for not protecting toll payers. Penalties would go into the bridge bond reserves rather than maintaining the Pierce County court system, which had been receiving $2.1 million per year from fines. It will help keep tolls down by directing more funds, including the civil penalty into bridge bond retirement.
We need to elect someone who understands what the bill does and will look out for toll payers. We need to elect Sumner Schoenike.