Residents and merchants in the East Bay are sharply opposing tolls on the Sakonnet River Bridge. Local lawmakers have joined them in asserting the tolls will hurt the economy in communities near the bridge.
The House Finance Committee is slated Tuesday to consider a bill to block a toll planned for the Sakonnet River Bridge. The legislation would use a different approach to pay for bridge maintenance.
Legislation co-sponsored by state Representative John Edwards uses increased vehicle inspection fees and other sources to pay for keeping up bridges. The bill would also expand the oversight of the state Turnpike and Bridge Authority to cover all bridges longer than 700 feet.
Gov. Lincoln Chafee’s switch to the Democratic Party has cost him one key supporter. Warwick Mayor Scott Avedisian, a longtime Chafee friend and backer, said he will not support the governor in his re-election bid.
“He’s been a lifelong friend so I’ll still be his friend but we’ll have to see what happens politically as we move forward,” said Avedisian. “I’m a Republican and I would expect to be supporting the Republican candidate.”
Governor Lincoln Chafee said he remains strongly opposed to the idea of defaulting on moral obligation bonds related to the failure of video game maker 38 Studios. On Thursday, an investment expert analyzed the pros and cons of default for the House Finance Committee.