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Tuesday, October 22, 2019  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Senate approves plan to allow 75 mph speed limit

By Chad Sokol Murrow News Service

OLYMPIA – A proposal to allow the state Department of Transportation to raise highway speed limits to 75 mph will be decided by Gov. Jay Inslee.

A bill sponsored by Rep. Joe Schmick, R-Colfax, would authorize the DOT to raise speed limits 5 mph over the current limit on stretches of highway that the department deems safe. It passed the state Senate on Wednesday, 41-7.

“If you’ve ever traveled between Ellensburg and Spokane, I can tell you I think there are places where that would be appropriate,” said Curtis King, R-Yakima.

The bill passed the House on a 78-19 vote last month.

The department and the Traffic Safety Commission raised concerns about increasing the gap between the speed limit for cars and trucks, which still would have a 60 mph limit

“We know that speeding and impaired driving are the two leading causes of death on our freeways,” said Sen. Mark Liaas, D-Lynnwood.

Senators Michael Baumgartner, R-Spokane; Brian Dansel, R-Republic; Mike Padden, R-Spokane Valley; and Mark Schoesler, R-Ritzville, supported the bill. Andy Billig, D-Spokane, voted no.

The bill passed the House on a 78-19 vote last month.

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