AUGUSTA — Gov. Paul LePage wants to start shutting down the state turnpike authority within the next decade. The House referred his bill Thursday to the Legislature’s Transportation Committee.

The Maine Turnpike Authority would have until November 2027 to remove all toll facilities on the turnpike, except the York toll plaza. The quasi-governmental authority would also have 10 years to transfer all of its duties to the Maine Department of Transportation.

The governor said in March that such a merger would benefit residents by leading to the elimination of most tolls.

The legislation would prohibit the turnpike authority from issuing bonds after October. By April, the authority would have to provide the Department of Transportation with a plan to pay down outstanding debt.

The legislation is sponsored by Republican Rep. Eleanor Espling.

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