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Ambulance Fees Get Go-Ahead In Montgomery County

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After years of back and forth, ambulance fees are finally in effect in Montgomery County
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After years of back and forth, ambulance fees are finally in effect in Montgomery County

The issue of ambulance user fees in Montgomery County appears at long last to finally be resolved.

County Executive Isiah Leggett sought the fees for the better part of the last decade, finally succeeding in 2010 when, by a 5-4 vote, the council approved them. That fall, voters overwhelmingly rejected them at the polls, meaning Montgomery County remained the only jurisdiction in the D.C. region that didn't charge the fees to those who are transported by ambulances.

Defiantly, Leggett brought the proposal back again last year and strengthened the language to ensure that county residents would never have to pay the fees. Instead, insurers would foot the bill for most, and low-income residents wouldn't have to pay at all. The bill passed the council by a larger margin that it had two years prior.

It didn't go to referendum that time because the county struck an agreement that a portion of the money raised by the fees would go to volunteer fire departments, which led the successful 2010 campaign against them.

Today, the county council gave formal approval to that agreement, the final action needed to end the decade long fight.

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