2016 General Assembly Legislation:
(Note: Bills in Blue are Good, Bills in Red are Bad)
H 7191 – To Approve and publish and submit to the Electors a pro position of Amendment to the Constitution – Restriction on Tolling – to prevent tolling of cars – Representatives: Filippi, Chippendale, Morgan, Price, and Roberts – http://webserver.rilin.state.ri.us/BillText/BillText16/HouseText16/H7191.pdf
H 7192 – Pay-as-you-go plan to fix our roads and bridges by reallocating funding that already exists in the state budget and earmarks those funds by placing the revenue in a restricted receipts account. Representatives: Morgan, Roberts, Price, Reilly, and Filippi – http://webserver.rilin.state.ri.us/BillText/BillText16/HouseText16/H7192.pdf
H 7207 – Relating to state affairs and government – Surveillance Devices – to track your every move as you traverse our highways. Representatives: Edwards, Diaz, Tanzi, Ajello, and Shekarchi – http://webserver.rilin.state.ri.us/BillText/BillText16/HouseText16/H7207.pdf
H 7409 – Authorizes the Rhode Island Turnpike and Bridge Authority to enter into contracts to operate and manage toll facilities on state roads and imposes tolls on such roads. Representatives: DeSimone, Blazejewski, Shekarchi, Carnevale, Ucci – http://webserver.rilin.state.ri.us/BillText/BillText16/HouseText16/H7409.pdf
S-2246 – Rhode Island Bridge Replacement, Reconstruction, and Maintenance Fund – Tolls Senators: Ruggerio, Paiva Weed, Goodwin, DiPalma, and McCaffrey – http://webserver.rilin.state.ri.us/BillText/BillText16/SenateText16/S2246.pdf
S-2247 – This Joint Resolution would propose a Constitutional Amendment providing that any new highway or bridge tolling would require voter approval statewide and also in the municipalities affected Senators: Pagliarini, Algiere, Jabour, Ciccone, Cote http://webserver.rilin.state.ri.us/BillText/BillText16/SenateText16/S2247.pdf
S-2248 – This Joint Resolution would propose a Constitutional Amendment providing that any new highway or bridge tolling would require voter approval statewide and also in the municipalities affected. Senator: Pagliarini http://webserver.rilin.state.ri.us/BillText/BillText16/SenateText16/S2248.pdf
Senate Finance Testimony on #RhodeWorks Legislation
RIPEC Analysis: Truck Tolling Proposal and the RhodeWorks Infrastructure Improvement Program February 2016
A Letter By State Senator Elaine Morgan (District 34)
We here in Rhode Island want to grow our economy. The Governor’s Toll plan will hinder and hurt our economy. Lets make Rhode Island thrive and not take a dive.
Governor Raimondo’s advisers are misinforming her. New York will be taking its tolls/gantries out because it has hurt business and commerce there. Let us learn from the mistakes made in other states. We have a plan to trim waste and overspending from our state’s 8.67 BILLION-dollar yearly budget without impacting anything of major importance.
We together can stop this. This should not be a Republican vs. Democrat issue. Rhode Island’s economy is one of the worst in the country now. This will put us right down the tubes.
The Republican Policy Group (RPG) consists of myself, Chairwomen Representative Patricia Morgan (West Warwick), Representative Michael Chippendale (Foster), Representative Anthony Giarrusso (East Greenwich), Representative Blake Filippi (Charlestown), Representative Sherry Roberts (Coventry), Representative Dan Reilly (Tiverton), Representative Justin Price (Richmond), Senator Nick Kettle (Coventry), and Senator Mark Gee (East Greenwich), and newest additions Senate minority leader Algiere and House minority leader Newberry. Actually, all Republicans in the Rhode Island General Assembly are united in support of NOTOLLS.
The RPG has released a Bridge Repair Plan. The amended plan does not contain any new taxes, fees, or tolls but relies solely on existing funds that are already collected from Rhode Island taxpayers. We agree with Governor Raimondo that our bridges are in deplorable condition and that we must begin to fix them now, not later. As a safety issue, it must be our highest priority. With that being said, tolling all our major highways is the wrong policy for Rhode Island. We already are a highly-taxed state, and additional taxes in the form of tolls will hurt our residents, our businesses, and our economy.
In a more efficient time frame than the Governor’s toll proposal, we can fix our bridges using current funds at far less cost to taxpayers. The truckers association has agreed to an increased tax on diesel fuel in addition to our Republican plan. Our plan eliminates the need to construct and maintain any toll gantries, as well as the ongoing expenses to run the toll program.
Commercial tolls/fees will be passed along to Rhode Islanders through increased cost of everything we purchase. Not only does our plan eliminate that risk, but also our plan prevents the need for gantries. Trucks and the industry will simply use I 395 to bypass Rhode Island altogether. When this happens, who will be called upon to pay this bond? OUR PASSENGER VEHICLES WILL!
Without gantries there is no risk that passenger vehicles will be tolled in the future. Our Governor’s figures have changed and keep changing. Perhaps most importantly, our plan eliminates the need to borrow money to fund our bridge repairs–saving taxpayers nearly $600 million in borrowing costs. As you remember, the Governor proposed her tolling plan only three weeks before the end of our last session. We quickly realized that the plan calls for paying $1.2 BILLION over the life of the bond in order to get $700 million today, irresponsibly burdening our children. Although Wall Street and major law firms surely want our $600 million in borrowing costs (interest), we feel it should stay in Rhode Islander’s pockets.
Luckily, passage of the Governor’s toll proposal stalled, giving us time to dissect the existing budget to find the money. Rhode Island has an $8.7 BILLION budget. The yearly expenditures we propose represent less than 1% of that total budget, and we have identified existing funds to finance the effort.
While others may reasonably differ with the sources we choose to reallocate, we are willing to study any alternative from existing spending. What we will not consider are any proposals that employ massive debt financing or tolls that will burden our state’s consumers, trucking industry, and businesses for decades to come.
Although the Republican Policy Group plan provides $250 million more funding than the Governor’s most recent proposal, it is also necessary for RIDOT to make the structural changes in its operations to maximize the value of each dollar. Cost overruns, substandard materials, and faulty workmanship must be failures of the past. Waste and inefficient systems must be eliminated. We are happy to see that the Governor has taken the necessary first steps to reform this essential department, and we expect continued progress.
The bottom line is that our taxpayers already give more than enough money through taxes, fees, and tolls. The RPG’s Bridge Repair Plan details the areas where that money can be found in our current budget. A responsible commitment from the General Assembly to allocate these funds over the next ten years, together with a reformed RIDOT, will bring all bridges into the safe, strong condition that our state’s travelers expect and deserve.
I need and appreciate your support in helping to restore our state to a place people want to live and raise their families, a place where businesses can thrive and prosper. Bottom line, let’s keep families here and grow new business together. Remember, “Trucks are the heartbeat of America.”
MAP OF PROPOSED TOLL LOCATIONS!
Response From Raimondo Administration On Records Request
Governor Raimondo has proposed a $600-million toll-backed bond, to finance bridge repairs, at an estimated cost of $1.1 billion over 30 years.
State Rep. Patricia Morgan recently submitted a public information request to the Governor for details about where the proposed tolls would be placed under the Governor’s plan. The Governor’s office responds by sending her this map of Providence from 1882.
Doreen Costa- Let The Voters Decide On Truck Tolls – On Matt Allen Show 11/04/2015
Representative Doreen Costa tells Matt about her plan to bring the question of truck tolls to the voters.
A True Public-Private-Partnership: The P3 PayGo Model – 10/16/2015
Research – http://rifreedom.org/p3/
Making #RhodeWorks Work for Rhode Islanders Pay-as-You-Go Approach Prioritizes Spending
Rhode Island Republican Policy Group – Alternate Toll Bridge Financing Press Conference – 10/7/2015
Republican Policy Group Highlights Missing Inconvenient Information In RhodeWorks Study – Rosy Impact Study Hides The Clouds – 10/28/2015
Republican Policy Group Plan for Roads and Bridges; Summary Plan, Funding Sources, Toll Comparison – 10/7/2015
Document – Repair Plan Summary – https://assets.documentcloud.org/documents/2451412/republican-policy-group-bridge-repair-plan-summary.pdf
Document – Funding Sources – https://assets.documentcloud.org/documents/2451418/rpg-funding-sources.pdf
Document – Tolling Comparison Plan – https://assets.documentcloud.org/documents/2451413/tolling-comparison.pdf
Rep. (R) Patricia Morgan on State of Mind – 10/28/2015
Television – 9/25/2015 http://foxprovidence.com/2015/10/28/925-rep-r-patricia-morgan-on-state-of-mind/
Representative Patricia Morgan on 630WPRO on Dan Yorke Show – 10/7/2015
Patricia Morgan: Tolls and debt will hurt R.I.
Opinion Piece – 10/18/2015 http://www.providencejournal.com/article/20151018/OPINION/151019418/2011
11/02/2015 Here’s why RIDOT says a truck-toll bond would save RI $612M – Transportation agency explains rationale for borrowing $600M to repair bridges http://wpri.com/2015/11/02/heres-why-ridot-officials-say-a-truck-toll-bond-would-save-ri-612m/
10/8/2015 RI GOP group responds to Mattiello criticism of DOT plan – http://www.630wpro.com/2015/10/08/ri-gop-group-responds-to-mattiello-criticism-of-dot-plan/
10/7/2015 RI Bridge Repair Plan with No Tolls Introduced by GOP Members – http://www.golocalprov.com/politics/new-ri-bridge-repair-plan-with-no-tolls-introduced-by-gop-members
10/7/2015 Republican group releases plan for fixing RI bridges with existing funds – http://www.providencejournal.com/article/20151007/NEWS/151009522/13809
Facebook: Republican No Tolls BridgeWork Plan – https://www.facebook.com/Republican-No-Tolls-BridgeWork-Plan-438314919685650/