Gina Raimondo

Ian Donnis/File Photo / RIPR

House Speaker Nicholas Mattiello is putting the brakes on Governor Raimondo’s plan to impose new tolls on trucks.

Speaker Mattiello was at Governor Raimondo’s side last week when she unveiled a plan to make larger commercial trucks pay tolls. Raimondo, who took steps to soften the plan this week, called it a sensible way to pay for road and bridge construction. She said big rigs cause most of the damage.

Ian Donnis / RIPR

The Raimondo administration is reducing the number of trucks it wants to toll as part of a new program to pay for infrastructure improvements. However the State Trucking Association remains opposed to the governor’s initiative.

The governor’s office is exempting trucks in class sizes 6 and 7 from its plan to institute electronic tolls on highways around the state. The cost of the tolls has not yet been publicly identified.

RIPR FILE

Lawmakers on the House Finance Committee are about to get down to serious discussion of the new state budget. The fate of Governor Gina Raimondo’s most important initiatives will be in their hands.

In a statement, House Speaker Nicholas Mattiello said the budget will make the agenda at the Finance Committee next week. This week, the committee reviews a proposed settlement to a lawsuit over the state pension overhaul. It also plans to look over Governor Raimondo’s infrastructure-funding plan, among other issues.

The temperature is rising, the General Assembly's budget vote is drawing closer, and a PawSox deal still hangs in the balance. So thanks for stopping by for my weekly column. Your tips and thoughts are always welcome at idonnis (at) ripr (dot) org, and you can follow me on the twitters. Here we go.

Compromise Emerges On Minimum Wage Hike

May 27, 2015
Aaron Read / RIPR

Lawmakers in Rhode Island's House and Senate labor committees are considering a compromise this week that would increase the state's minimum wage.  But the proposed 60-cent wage hike is less than what some lawmakers had hoped to see. 

Currently, Rhode Island's minimum wage is $9 an hour. The original bill would have hiked the wage to $10.10 as of 2016.  The bill now calls for an increase to $9.60 per hour.

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