Opinion: Initiative remains fallback option for stopping Interstate 205 tolling
Recent opinion author Elvis Clark’s suggestion that Senate Bill 933 is doomed to failure, either because it will not pass in the Oregon Legislature or will be vetoed by the governor, is a prime example of a defeatist attitude and the declining faith people have in our democratic process.
For those who have forgotten, SB 933 will prohibit ODOT from establishing a toll on I-205 or I-5 and require it to conduct an analysis of alternative funding for road and bridge construction and maintenance. It has wide bipartisan support, with six Democrats and six Republicans sponsoring it. Without even having a hearing in the Joint Committee on Transportation, it stands a good chance of passing. However, if we citizens who oppose tolling on our freeways exercise our power as voters and make our feelings known – regardless of political party or persuasion – then it stands a good chance of passing with such numbers that the governor will have a very hard time exercising her veto power.
In case she does, however, then it is also a good idea to support IP-4, giving Oregon voters the right to have the final say. The two efforts are not mutually exclusive. If we tell our elected officials we do not want tolling, and they hear us, then IP-4 becomes unnecessary. If we do not speak up and/or they do not pass SB 933, then an initiative remains our fallback option.
Scott Hays is a resident of Oregon City.