The General Assembly voted to delay collecting tolls on the Sakonnet River Bridge until February 1, 2014, while studying ways to fund bridge maintenance statewide.
Speaker Gordon Fox made a deal with the East Bay representatives to support funding the 38 Studios fiasco in exchange for delaying the tolls. The budget passed with those two provisions. And then five days later, Speaker Fox reneged on the deal, reinstated the tolls starting in August, and threw the people of East Bay under the bus as well as the East Bay representatives (we think).
One hour later, Senate President Teresa Paiva-Weed did the same thing and threw the East Bay people (including those in her own district of Newport) under the bus. This is Rhode Island politics at its worst.
Representative Nicholas A. Mattiello (Cranston), House Majority Leader, defended the bill and called it a “User Fee.” If that is the logic, then why aren’t all the bridges in Rhode Island subject to user fees?
Member, Board of Directors, Little Compton Taxpayers Association