infrastructure

House Speaker Nicholas Mattiello joins Bonus Q&A this week to discuss infrastructure, tolls, judicial selection, Statehouse politics, and other issues.

Ian Donnis / RIPR

House Minority Leader Brian Newberry (R-North Smithfield) on Friday called for House Speaker Nicholas Mattiello to launch a House Oversight investigation into whether the state Department of Transportation pressured state reps to support the new truck toll law ahead of the House vote earlier this week.

Ian Donnis / RIPR

Almost nine months after unveiling the initial version of her infrastructure proposal, Governor Gina Raimondo on Thursday signed into law a revised version of RhodeWorks that will trigger new tolls on big trucks on Rhode Island highways.

Ian Donnis / RIPR

A revised truck toll bill is expected to be introduced in the General Assembly Thursday.

House Majority Leader John DeSimone is expected to introduce the bill in the House, while Senate Majority Leader Dominick Ruggerio will sponsor the bill in the Senate.

House Speaker Nicholas Mattiello has signaled his support for hundreds of million dollars fewer borrowing than contained in the original proposal unveiled last year by Governor Gina Raimondo.

Ian Donnis/File Photo / RIPR

Governor Gina Raimondo's office released a new study Thursday that it said buttresses the case for the governor's controversial truck-toll proposal. The Rhode Island Truckers Association responded by questioning the numbers in the study.

A traffic collection report prepared for the state Department of Transportation by CDM Smith found that trucks volumes in class eight and above "are, in total, 27 percent higher than the raw volumes developed by RIDOT," through "approximations" "for their initial assessment for the RhodeWorks program."

Ian Donnis / RIPR

House Speaker Nicholas Mattiello and Governor Gina Raimondo continue to discuss the governor’s truck-toll proposal. Mattiello is already supporting some parts of the governor’s infrastructure plan.

Ian Donnis / RIPR

Five Republican lawmakers and one independent 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.

Ian Donnis/File Photo / RIPR

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.

Ian Donnis/File Photo / RIPR

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.

Ian Donnis/File Photo / RIPR

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.

Ian Donnis / RIPR

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.

Thanks for stopping by. The legislative year is almost over -- the traditional part, anyway -- but the political world always keeps spinning. I welcome your tips and thoughts at idonnis (at) ripr (dot) org, and you can follow me through the week on the twitters. Here we go.

RIPR FILE

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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