Mark Binker at the Greensboro News-Record snuck this into his blog earlier today : The Senate just passed SB 1352, gap funding for the N.C. Turnpike authority. It's an $8 increase in the fee you pay for your automobile registration, to $36 for your run of the mill automobile, that will go to fund toll roads in the state. This money - about $52 million per fiscal year - will make up the gap between what the tolls produce in revenue and what the Turnpike Authority needs to pay on its bonds. The Senate passed the measure today and will vote again Monday. It then heads to the House. We might see NC 540's western extension in our lifetime after all.