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The Thruway Authority announced today it has dropped the proposal for higher tolls on commercial trucks.

Instead, it will eliminate 361 positions, or 6 percent of its staff, as part of an effort to save hundreds of millions of dollars, according to executive director Thomas Madison. It will also freeze management salaries while cutting travel and overtime.

He says the Thruway Authority can balance the budget and protect bond rating without increasing tolls.

The agency has faced months of criticism for its proposed 45 percent toll hike for commercial trucks that apparently would have had trickle-down effects to consumers and families.

Madison says the 2013 budget represents a new way to do business.

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