State Senator Craig Pridemore and State Representative, Jim Moeller were arrayed behind Washington Governor Chris Gregoire when she signed the bill approving tolls on the Columbia River Crossing.
No word on when the tolls start or how much they’ll be. However there some really interesting stuff in this bill. For one thing they put a “cap” on the CRC of $3.4 billion. There’s no way that will happen because the CRC is already estimated to cost more than $10 billion.
Then a curious thing on the last six or seven pages. The bill goes into where the money from the tolls WON’T go. Here are just a few places where the tolling money won’t go:
Monthly, the state treasurer shall distribute the earnings
13 credited to the treasury income account. The state treasurer shall
14 credit the general fund with all the earnings credited to the treasury
15 income account except:
16 (a) The following accounts and funds shall receive their
17 proportionate share of earnings based upon each account’s and fund’s
18 average daily balance for the period: The aeronautics account, the
19 aircraft search and rescue account, the budget stabilization account,
20 the capital vessel replacement account, the capitol building
21 construction account, the Cedar River channel construction and
22 operation account, the Central Washington University capital projects
23 account, the charitable, educational, penal and reformatory
24 institutions account, the cleanup settlement account, the Columbia
25 river basin water supply development account, the Columbia river basin
26 taxable bond water supply development account, the Columbia river basin
27 water supply revenue recovery account, the Columbia river crossing
28 project account,
I have no idea at this point why the toll money for the CRC wouldn’t go into the COLUMBIA RIVER CROSS PROJECT ACCOUNT.
Here’s a thought. Why not spend time in the bill saying WHERE THE MONEY WILL GO? Sounds easier.