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

Ian Donnis / RIPR

Lawmakers in the Senate and House Finance committees are expected to take up a controversial bill on truck tolls on Wednesday and Thursday, respectively Legislative leaders have proposed a compromise to raise money for road and bridge repairs.

The new bill would cap truck tolls at $20 for a rig crossing the state. It would also cut the number of toll gantries from 17 to 14. And reduce the amount of money the state borrows for road and bridge repairs.

Providence Business News Editor Mark Murphy joins Rhode Island Public Radio's Dave Fallon for our weekly business segment, The Bottom Line.

This week Mark and Dave speak with John Simmons, executive director of the Rhode Island Public Expenditure Council, to discuss how to tolls, bonds and taxes may help pay for bridge and highway repairs among other topics.


Ian Donnis / RIPR

State Rep. Doreen Costa (R-North Kingstown) joins Political Roundtable this week to discuss efforts to reduce gun violence; the high-stakes pursuit of General Electric; and the outlook on Governor Gina Raimondo's truck toll plan.

There's just one week until Christmas, so I want to wish a very happy holiday season to my readers, and offer my thanks for stopping by in 2015. (Program note: TGIF is taking next week off and will return December 31.) As usual, your tips and comments are welcome, and you can follow me through the week on the twitters. Here we go.

Ian Donnis / RIPR

A Block Island lawmaker wants to prevent the state from imposing new tolls on passenger cars.

Governor Gina Raimondo has said tolling passenger cars is not part of her $1.1 billion infrastructure improvement plan.

Ian Donnis / RIPR

Governor Gina Raimondo said Thursday that a newly released impact study on her truck toll plan shows that the proposal will help Rhode Island’s economy.

The study by Regional Economic Models predicts the toll plan could boost the state’s gross domestic product by $538 million. The study also predicts the governor’s toll proposal will create a net increase of more than 6,000 jobs.

In a statement, House Speaker Nicholas Mattiello says he’s digesting the impact study.

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.

Governor Gina Raimondo joins Bonus Q+A this week to discuss the failure of the once-heralded startup Nabsys; challenges at the state Department of Transportation; the outlook for her toll proposal; the new state unemployment numbers; and much more.

House Minority Leader Brian Newberry (R-North Smithfield) joins Bonus Q+A this week to discuss a range of topics, including the GOP side of the presidential race; the performance of RI's pension fund; the next move on the PawSox, and more. For more Newberry, listen to his appearance on our Political Roundtable.

Ian Donnis/File Photo / RIPR file photo

House Minority Leader Brian Newberry (R-North Smithfield) joins Political Roundtable this week to discuss Governor Gina Raimondo's changes at the state Department of Transportation; Raimondo's unresolved truck-toll proposal; and whether there's justification to keep confidential some of the 38 Studios documents.

For more Newberry, listen to his appearance on our Bonus Q+A.

Ian Donnis/File Photo / RIPR

House Speaker Nicholas Mattiello says lawmakers are unlikely to consider a revised proposal for a Pawtucket Red Sox stadium in Providence until their next regular session in January.

Mattiello pointed to concerns about the ownership of the intended ballpark site, part of which is owned by Brown University, as well as an ongoing review related to an elaborate storm-water runoff system underneath the site.

Ian Donnis/File Photo / RIPR

Senate President Teresa Paiva Weed joins Political Roundtable this week to discuss how the legislative session ended with an impasse between the House and the Senate; whether the Senate will return for a special session; and the outlook for Governor Raimondo's truck-toll plan.

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.