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Buffalo Assemblyman Sean Ryan is offering a way to help the state collect some of the $35 million in unpaid Thruway tolls. 

Ryan is calling for legislation that would make evading Thruway tolls a class A misdemeanor under the state theft of service law.  Currently, the Thruway Authority sends a letter requesting payment to toll evaders, but many of them are ignored, with no other collection recourse. 

Ryan says that this is a much better way to close the Thruway budget deficit rather than a 45-percent toll increase for trucks, which is currently being considered.

Earlier this week, the Thruway Authority reported that more than a million drivers over the last four years avoided paying Thruway Tolls.

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