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Miami Democrat, with support from Republican congressman, wants local roadway tolls suspended for Hurricane Matthew



UPDATE: 5:45 p.m. -- In Gov. Scott's latest press release providing updated information on preparedness efforts for Hurricane Matthew, his office said: "If evacuation orders are given, the Florida Turnpike Enterprise is prepared to suspend tolls."


With Hurricane Matthew threatening South Florida this week, Miami Democratic state Rep. Kionne McGhee says the Florida Department of Transportation and the Miami-Dade Expressway Authority should immediately stop collecting tolls on Miami-Dade roadways.

And McGhee has a high-profile Republican ally for his idea: Miami U.S. Rep. Carlos Curbelo.

McGhee issued his ask to FDOT and MDX through a Twitter video late this morning. "Alleviating this burden for those of us who are in the cone path of Hurricane Matthew will assist the great people of Miami-Dade County," he said.

A little over two hours after that message, Curbelo retweeted McGhee's video, saying "good call" and tagging Florida Republican Gov. Rick Scott and Lt. Gov. Carlos Lopez Cantera to get their attention.

"Our people shouldn't be forced to choose candles or tolls," McGhee replied in a tweet of thanks back to Curbelo.

McGhee was re-elected to a third term in the Florida Legislature this year when no one filed to run against him in House District 117. Curbelo, meanwhile, faces a competitive re-election this fall against Democrat Joe Garcia in Florida's 26th Congressional District.

Miami-Dade County Commissioner Xavier Suarez also endorsed McGhee's proposal on Twitter, saying: "Yes to that and anything that helps our commuters, emergency vehicles and visitors."

 Photo credit: State Rep. Kionne McGhee, D-Miami, in 2015. myfloridahouse.gov