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Republican lawmakers introduce bill to cap car tab fees at $30 in Washington

Washington Gov. Jay Inslee does not support the legislation, which is seeking to cap car tab fees at $30.

OLYMPIA, Wash — While Democratic Governor Jay Inslee won't support a bill that caps car tab fees at $30, it's not stopping Republicans from pursuing legislation calling for the change. 

“That’s what the people voted for,” said Sen. Phil Fortunato (R-Auburn), who is sponsoring a bill to cap the state’s portion of car tab renewals at $30.

Initiative 976 was passed by voters last November, which seeks to return car tab fees to just $30. 

The initiative prompted a lawsuit and a King County Superior Court judge temporarily blocked I-976 from taking effect. The judge's decision was upheld by the Washington Supreme Court and now its implementation is on hold until rulings are made in court. 

Fortunato explained his proposed bill would not be needed if the courts decide to uphold I-976. 

His measure, along with a similar bill introduced by Republicans in the House, would accomplish what the voters wanted by capping car tab renewals at $30.

Fortunato said by using the state’s surplus and finding what he called “efficiencies” in state government, public projects would not be impacted by eliminating additional car tab fees.

When asked why he is pursuing a bill the governor has said he won’t sign, Fortunato replied, “Call the governor’s office, call you Representatives, call your Senators."

A spokesperson for Sen. Steve Hobbs, (D-Lake Stevens), said the bill would “probably” get a hearing in the Senate Transportation Committee.

Read more about Initiative 976: 

RELATED: Eyman asks Thurston County judge to examine I-976 case

RELATED: Judge allows Tim Eyman, Pierce County to join I-976 lawsuit

RELATED: Judge temporarily blocks I-976 from taking effect

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