Bill to eliminate ferry tolls set to go before committee

Published: Monday, May 20, 2013 at 09:24 AM.

“If the commission receives 10 letters of objection from the public objecting to the rule and requesting legislative review, then the rule has a delayed effective date until the General Assembly’s next session and the legislature acts (or doesn’t act) upon the rules,” Amanda J. Reeder, counsel to the Rules Review Commission, said in an email.

Tine said he was not sure of the procedural effects of the 10-Letter Rule on the existing and proposed ferry legislation.

“I know it creates at least a review, but I don’t know if it automatically delays it,” he said. “The pending legislation (HB475) in its current form would undo tolls all the way, so obviously it would make it all moot.”

The legislature will ultimately decide the issue, which could go down to final budget negotiations.

“It creates a timing question,” Tine said of the letters’ potential impact. He added that there was also a companion Senate bill, introduced by Norman Sanderson, R-Pamlico, which would abolish the tolls. Too, there are budget negotiations that historically take place as the session winds down. The Senate released its budget Sunday.

“But, until, they bang the last gavel, we’re going to keep working,” Tine said.

A spokesman with the state Department of Transportation communications office said Department of Transportation was aware of the letters and of the pending bills in the General Assembly, adding that in the meantime, plans continue to begin tolling on July 1.

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