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Despite I-1053, tolls & fares likely heading back to Transportation Commission’s domain

Post by Jordan Schrader / The News Tribune on April 20, 2011 at 2:28 pm | 1 Comment »
April 20, 2011 2:28 pm

The Legislature is poised to restore the authority of the state Transportation Commission to set the rates for tolls and ferry fares.

Voters took that authority away by approving Tim Eyman‘s Initiative 1053, requiring that the Legislature decide.

But lawmakers don’t want that role and say the appointed commission is better equipped for it. They are moving toward delegating the power once again, after Attorney General Rob McKenna‘s office advised them I-1053 doesn’t keep them from doing so.

The transportation budget deal awaiting final votes by the Senate and House includes a restoration of the Transportation Commission’s authority to set ferry fares, Narrows Bridge tolls and Route 167 HOT lane tolls.

Which just leaves the new tolling project on Route 520 — and that authority is restored by a bill that won final legislative approval today after several bipartisan votes.

The same bill, SB 5700. also gives final sign-off on the rates for photo tolls being put in place on the Narrows Bridge.

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