Washington lawmakers oppose plan for highway tolls in Oregon - KPTV - FOX 12

Washington lawmakers oppose plan for highway tolls in Oregon

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Oregon's costly and controversial transportation bill is facing strong opposition from lawmakers in Washington.

Washington lawmakers believe the bill, which was recently passed by the Oregon Legislature and signed by Governor Kate Brown, would benefit the state of Oregon at the expense of Washingtonians.

The lawmakers biggest concern is the highway tolls that could be added to Interstate 5 and Interstate 205.

Although both Oregon and Washington's cross-state commuters would pay the tolls, the money collected from these would only be used to fund road improvement projects south of Portland, an area most daily commuters from Washington never access.

U.S. Representative Jaime Herrera Beutler has been one of the bills most vocal opponents. 

On Tuesday, Herrera Beutler, along with nine other Washington lawmakers, wrote an open letter to Washington Governor Jay Inslee requesting he take state-level action to block the approval of tolls at the state line.

Recently, Herrera Beutler successfully passed an amendment that if approved by the U.S. Senate, would block Oregon's proposal to establish tolls on the I-5 and I-205 bridges.

While she says she's not completely opposed to implementing tolls, she wants the money collected to fund projects that would relieve traffic congestion at the current border bridges. That way everyone would benefit from the deal.

Although the $5.3 billion transportation package was passed by the Oregon Legislature, the U.S. Department of Transportation must still approve the plan for it to take effect.

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