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Legal argument against Perdue's ferry toll ban is "black and white," Cohen says

Gov. Bev Perdue argued forcefully for her right to block new state ferry tolls, but the law is against her, a top legislative staff lawyer said today.

"While the facts may be compelling one way or the other for the citizens involved, the legal issues here are black-and-white," Gerry Cohen, who heads the legislature's bill-drafting staff, told the House Transportation Appropriations Subcommittee. "It is my opinion that the governor's order has no force or effect." (See online story with reader comments, and a longer story with reader comments in Friday print edition, and an AP story over constitutional issues raised by Perdue's action.)

See below for the full texts of Perdue's executive order, which put a one-year moratorium on the tolls, and Cohen's memo to legislators.

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