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Top lawmakers on transportation want Legislature to approve bridge tolls

Post by Jordan Schrader / The News Tribune on Feb. 7, 2011 at 12:05 pm |
February 7, 2011 12:08 pm

The chairwomen of the Senate and House transportation committees  are asking fellow lawmakers to approve the toll rates set by the state Transportation Commission.

Their bipartisan bills would allow tolls of $3.50 each way ($5 cash) to take effect on the Route 520 bridge over Lake Washington. They would return authority to the Transportation Commission to adjust 520 tolls on its own.

The bills would also allow automated cameras to issue $5.50 tolls on the Tacoma Narrows bridge, as the commission ordered, but they wouldn’t address whether the commission should have authority to set future Narrows bridge rates on its own.

Voter-approved Initiative 1053 moved fee-setting authority from the commission to the Legislature, but state lawyers have advised lawmakers they can return the authority with a simple majority vote.

The top GOP members of those committees, Sen. Curtis King and Rep. Mike Armstrong, have signed on to the bills offered by the Democratic chairwomen, Sen. Mary Margaret Haugen and Rep. Judy Clibborn.

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