OLYMPIA, Wash. - Lawmakers from both parties are giving a thumbs-down to Gov. Chris Gregoire's proposal to create a regional authority for the state ferry system.

The Kitsap Sun reports that at a House Transportation Committee hearing Thursday, representatives shot down the proposal, saying they don't think it has the votes to pass.

The chairwoman of the Senate Transportation Committee says she won't even give the proposal a hearing.

Gregoire's proposal would create a nine-county, semi-independent regional authority to take control of the Washington State Ferries. Gregoire says that would avoid the ferries' capital fund running into red ink in coming years.

But some lawmakers wonder how the counties are expected to pay for it, when the state cannot.

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