“Just the pay the tolls … and fix the damned roads.” –Rhode Island governor Gina Raimondo, quoted in this Bloomberg story on her efforts to raise tolls on large trucks on state bridges to fund repair
The title of the Bloomberg story mentioned above, in which the news service details Rhode Island governor Gina Raimondo’s reform of the state’s pension system and an attempt to pass off a trucks-only bridge tolling program to fund maintenance of the infrastructure, makes it sound like the Gov. has all the answers: “The governor who has figured out how to fix pensions and roads.”
But the headline holds only as much truth as the quote that ends the account, as Raimondo’s toll plan remains in limbo. The latest we’ve reported is in this story, detailing the Rhode Island Senate’s compromise bill (with less-expensive tolls) on the plan. When the legislature adjourned for the summer, House members had not taken up the tolling bill.
Whatever happens, Raimondo’s clearly digging her heels in — the quote above is reported as her response to the charge that trucking industry representatives were never consulted on the issue of putting the tolls in place, a charge that she denies. As reported by Bloomberg’s Tom Moroney and Matthew Winkler, “Raimondo rejected the notion the truckers were left out, saying industry representatives have spent hours in her office in deliberation. And why only trucks? ‘They cause the most damage,’ she said.”
After much consideration, she says, if she gets her way, truckers will pay.
Moments from the road
A couple of spectacular recent additions to the Reader Rigs gallery.