State Representative Raymond Gallison (Bristol, Portsmouth) says that the Rhode Island Turnpike and Bridge Authority is getting ahead of itself with its weekend ‘last chance’ toll rate hearings. The hearings are Saturday at 9 a.m. and 1 p.m. at the Roger Williams University Conference Center.
In a statement released Tuesday evening, Rep. Gallison said he will introduce legislation calling for more hearings on the subject of tolls and rates.
His statement reads:
“Chairman Darlington can say that Saturday’s workshops may be the only opportunity for East Bay, Aquidneck Island and South Coast residents to comment on the toll rates but he doesn’t set the policies and laws for the State of Rhode Island — that is the responsibility of the General Assembly. If we enact legislation to mandate more hearings then the RITBA will have to conduct more hearings. I intend to introduce such a bill.
“Also, the House of Representatives has not yet conducted any hearings on the various pieces of legislation aimed at prohibiting tolls on the Sakonnet River Bridge so the issue is far from over and I for one will not stop fighting the proposed tolls.
“It wasn’t to long ago I joined with many officials and citizens from the area to stop the LNG facility proposed for Fall River and we were successful in defeating that proposal. I strongly believe we can be just as effective in stopping the tolls.
“In 2012 the budget article that transferred authority of the Sakonnet River Bridge passed by just 14 votes. This year the legislation to undo that transfer is not part of the budget so all we need is 38 votes to stop the transfer and the tolls.
“The fight is certainly not over.”
Raymond E. Gallison, Jr.
Representative – District 69 (Bristol and Portsmouth)