Spokane’s City Council did an about-face last night and withdrew a measure from the November ballot that would have let voters decide whether to fine railroad operators up to $261 per train car carrying flammable crude or coal through downtown Spokane.

According to the Spokesman-Review, the City Council voted 5-2 to against the measure. Council President Ben Stuckart, who initially led the charge to fine the railroads, now says he believes the fine would expose citizens to too much legal liability.

“I don’t believe that it’s legally defensible, or defensible for us to bring forward,” Stuckart is quoted as saying in the Spokesman.

The two votes to keep the issue on the ballot came from Councilman Breean Beggs and Lori Kinnear.
Beggs said he believed the ordinance could have withstood a legal challenge. 

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