I’m writing you this evening from the Senate floor to update you and also ask for your help. I was surprised today when the Majority Coalition Caucus refused to bring Senate Bill 5592 to a vote. That bill would limit administrative costs on the Tacoma Narrows and help keep tolls low for our citizens. As you may know, if this legislation is not considered by tomorrow’s cutoff deadline of 5 p.m., it will not become law this session. I need your help to keep this bill moving forward. Keeping tolls as low as possible should not be a partisan issue.
Coming out of the Senate Transportation Committee, this bill had strong bipartisan and unanimous support out of the Rules Committee. Needless to say, I was surprised that their feelings had changed when the bill came before the Senate today and the Republican majority voted against it and stopped the bill from further consideration.
The good news for citizens of the 26th District is that the Republicans voted on a procedural basis to kill the bill, not on the merits. Citizens that are concerned about their toll costs and believe that administrative costs should be reduced should contact the Republican controlled coalition, in particular floor leader Senator Joe Fain at 360-786-7692, or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org, to request the bill get a proper hearing on the floor of the Senate.
I feel confident that this bill will provide a huge benefit for the 26th legislative district. For years, the residents of the Kitsap Peninsula have been shouldering the majority of the burden created by the rising cost of bridge tolls. In passing this bill, the Senate would have helped those residents, assisted the tourism industry, and encouraged efficiency in bridge operations.
It’s a sad day for those who are for reducing the amount of money working men and women will pay when they drive to and from work each day. It’s a sad day for the tourism industry of Gig Harbor, Port Orchard and the Kitsap Peninsula that suffers when the tolls on the bridge rise. It’s a sad day for those who are for responsible management of administrative costs. It’s a sad day for the 26th district when a bill that would make a difference in their pocketbooks is killed for no good reason.
I hope you will take the time to call Senator Fain in support of this legislation and join me in encouraging we get things done for our constituents in a bipartisan manner.
-Office of Sen. Nathan Schlicher