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Lacey man fears I-976 could affect the public transit he relies on for income

The man, who has cerebral palsy, takes the bus to his two jobs. He's worried that the initiative will cut transit projects he relies on to get to work.

LACEY, Wash. — Michael Rogers is afraid that Initiative-976 could ruin his life. Or at least his livelihood.

“I know you want your $30 tabs,” said Rogers, “But it's much more than $30 to me. It's my independence."

Rogers is the only individual in the current lawsuit challenging I-976, the initiative passed by voters in early November, which caps state car tab renewal fees at 30 dollars.

He joined the city of Seattle, King and Garfield Counties, and transportation agencies in a lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of the initiative.

Rogers has cerebral palsy and uses a wheelchair to get to the Intercity Transit bus stop near his Lacey home.

He rides public transportation to get to his two jobs.

He works for the state, but Rogers fears cuts to transit spending could eliminate his ability to get to Seattle and T-Mobile Park where he works as a ticket-taker for the Seattle Mariners.

“I don’t have the means to drive a car,” said Rogers, “Because I don’t have the ability to drive a car.”

RELATED: Injunction filed in effort to block I-976 from taking effect

Last week, the chair of the Senate Transportation Committee told KING 5 that he doesn’t know which project will be cut because of the passage of I-976 but said everyone in the state will likely be impacted.

“People will feel it,” said Committee Chair Sen. Steve Hobbs, D-Lake Stevens.

Stevens said the initiative eliminates $478 million from the state’s current two-year budget.

A ten-year projection by the state suggests Washington will lose $3.5 billion in transportation funding under the initiative.

Dozens of cities relied on additional car tab fees to fund local projects.

Those fees are eliminated under the initiative.

RELATED: State outlines changes to car tab fees after I-976 approval

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