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3/22/2007
West Virginia Legislature Limits Toll Roads
The West Virginia legislature passes bill requiring its approval of any plan to toll roads in the state.

Sen. Chafin and Rep. Porter
The West Virginia Legislature on Tuesday asked Governor Joe Manchin III (D) to sign a proposed law that would curtail the state's authority to add tolls to new or existing roads without the approval of lawmakers. A bipartisan group led by State Senate Majortiy Leader H. Truman Chafin (D-Mingo County), Senate Minority Leader Don Caruth (R-Mercer County) and Representative Thomas Mike Porter (R-Mercer County) in sponsored the measure to slow down efforts to increase toll prices on the 88-mile West Virginia Turnpike, the state's only toll road.

The proposed law mandates a study be completed documenting the need for any new toll or change in toll. The report would be examined by a joint committee of the state House and Senate before a vote by the full legislature on whether to approve the proposed change.

Article Excerpt:
West Virginia Legislature
ENROLLED COMMITTEE SUBSTITUTE FOR
Senate Bill No. 738
(Senators Chafin, Caruth, Guills and Fanning, original sponsors)
[Passed March 10, 2007; in effect from passage.]

AN ACT to amend the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended, by adding thereto a new section, designated 17-16A-6a, relating to the West Virginia Parkways, Economic Development and Tourism Authority; requiring the authority to report a proposed toll or a toll revision to the Joint Committee on Government and Finance; and requiring the Legislature to vote on the proposed toll or a toll revision.

Be it enacted by the Legislature of West Virginia:
That the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended, be amended by adding thereto a new section, designated 17-16A-6a, to read as follows:

ARTICLE 16A. WEST VIRGINIA PARKWAYS, ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT AND TOURISM AUTHORITY.

17-16A-6a. Requirements for a proposed toll or a revision to a toll.

(a) Prior to the adoption of a new toll or a revision to an existing toll on any parkway project, the parkways authority shall report to the Joint Committee on Government and Finance the need for the toll, including any supporting documentation and any information requested by the Joint Committee on Government and Finance.
(b) If, after the report by the parkways authority to the Joint Committee on Government and Finance, the parkways authority proposes a new toll or a revision to an existing toll, then the question of the adoption of a new toll or a revision to an existing toll shall be put before the Legislature and approval of a new toll or a revision to an existing toll by an affirmative vote of the Legislature is required prior to the implementation of a new toll or a revision to an existing toll.


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