The House Finance Committee will take up legislation Tuesday centered on funding bridge repair and keeping tolls off the Sakonnet River Bridge. Lawmakers also want to hang on to the bridge's current ten-cent toll for a few more months.
That ten-cent toll expires on April 1st. After that the Rhode Island Turnpike and Bridge Authority will have control over how much drivers pay. Legislation before the House Finance Committee would push that April Fool's deadline to July 1st. There's also legislation that would raise $1 billion in ten years with a temporary DMV surcharge and by diverting gas taxes and a slice of transportation funding into a special fund.
Another bill being discussed transfers oversight of the Sakonnet and Jamestown bridges to the state. One of the bill's sponsors and an outspoken critic of the Sakonnet bridge toll, Rep. Jay Edwards, says he's cautiously optimistic that most or some of the legislation will make it through the General Assembly and to Gov. Lincoln Chafee's desk.
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