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A half-dozen Republican lawmakers unveiled a proposal Wednesday to steer $875 million to improving Rhode Island's decrepit bridges over 10 years without imposing tolls on trucks and without the borrowing costs in a competing plan backed by Governor Gina Raimondo.

National Grid has filed an application (PDF) with the federal government to add facilities to its existing liquefied natural gas storage property in Providence.

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State Senator Donna Nesselbush (D-Pawtucket) joins Political Roundtable this week to discuss how the House didn't vote for Governor Raimondo's truck-toll plan; the impact of new legislation on charter schools; and the Cranston bridge closing controversy.

The General Assembly ended its regular session Thursday night without approving Governor Gina Raimondo's plan to use tolls on trucks to pay for bridge improvements. The last night of the session was punctuated by a dispute that led senators to leave their chamber as the House was still meeting, and resulted in a series of bills slated for votes going by the wayside.

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House Minority Leader Brian Newberry (R-North Smithfield) doesn't expect the House to vote on Governor Gina Raimondo's truck-toll proposal before lawmakers recess for summer this week.

Newberry points to remarks by House Speaker Nicholas Mattiello, who has shown little enthusiasm for a vote this week, due to his lingering concerns on the impact on business of the governor's ambitious infrastructure plan.

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House Speaker Nicholas Mattiello said he wants the State Police or state Department of Transportation to investigate why problems that led to the closure Tuesday of Cranston's Park Avenue Bridge were not discovered when the bridge was inspected last September. The state Senate, meanwhile, approved Governor Gina Raimondo's truck-toll plan, while the proposal's outlook in the House remains uncertain.

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Governor Gina Raimondo continued to press Monday for the General Assembly to approve her plan to pay for bridge improvements through new tolls on trucks, although the person with the most impact on the outcome -- House Speaker Nicholas Mattiello -- said he remains undecided.

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House Republicans say the state can fix aging bridges without new tolls on trucks. The GOP has called for $60 million a year to be set aside from the state budget for up to 12 years.

West Warwick Representative Patricia Morgan says using money from the budget would be cheaper than Governor Gina Raimondo’s plan to toll trucks. Morgan said that’s because the state would not need to build toll-collecting devices known as gantries, or pay millions in interest for borrowing money to make improvements.

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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.

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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.

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.

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Standing under a decaying highway overpass in Olneyville, Governor Gina Raimondo on Wednesday unveiled a plan to improve Rhode Island's crumbling bridges by imposing a yet-to-be determined charge on large commercial trucks.

The plan calls for a $700 million bond issue, to be included as part of the budget for the next fiscal year, to jump-start transit-related construction work. To the delight of unionized workers in attendance, Raimondo characterized the initiative -- dubbed "Rhode Works" -- as a measure that will improve infrastructure while creating construction jobs.

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US Senator Sheldon Whitehouse joins Political Roundtable this week to discuss whether Democrats can be effective in the GOP-controlled Senate; the battle against ISIS; Governor Gina Raimondo's presentation on Rhode Island's economy; and more.

Hear more of our conversation with Senator Whitehouse in Bonus Q & A.