Woonsocket Call

State Senate opens hearing on toll plan

- BY JOSEPH B. NADEAU jnadeau@woonsocket­call.com

PROVIDENCE — The State Senate opened a hearing on Governor Gina Raimondo’s proposed plan to install toll gantries at 14 locations around the state to help raise funding needed to improve highway bridges and overpasses around the state.

House Speaker Nicholas Mattiello and Senate President M. Teresa Pavia Weed have already voiced support for the Governor’s proposal but indicated it will be vetted through the committee process as a first step.

The Senate Finance Committee began its hearing on the plan on Wednesday and the House Finance Committee is expected to follow with its own today at the Statehouse.

House Speaker Nicholas Mattiello said on Wednesday

that the hearing process could continue early next week but he does hope to have floor considerat­ion of the Governor’s Highway Improvemen­t bill later in the week.

Mattiello said he has already been fielding questions from members as to when the matter will come before the House so that they can be present before the traditiona­l General Assembly February break.

“We are going to do hearings this week and then repost it next week and if I can get it voted out we will have floor debate later in the week,” Mattiello said.

The proposal has been drawing both opponent demonstrat­ions from trucking groups and residents and also support as was apparent from the large Iron Workers demonstrat­ion at the Statehouse Wednesday. Michael Sanchez Reyes of Providence, a member of Local 37 of the Internatio­nal Associatio­n of Bridge, Structural, Ornamental and Reinforcin­g Iron Workers, said he went to the Statehouse on Tuesday in support of Governor Ramondo’s road improvemen­t plan. Reyes said the state’s bridges and overpasses suffer damage from large trucks passing over them and should be repaired. “We have to do something about it. We can’t be going back and forth, let’s get it fixed,” Reyes said.

 ?? Joseph B. Nadeau/The Call ?? From left, Marvin Gutierrez, Michael Sanchez Reyes and Eddie Lachance were among the members of Local 27 of the Internatio­nal Associatio­n of Bridge, Structural, Ornamental and Reinforcin­g Iron Workers showing up at the Statehouse in support of Governor...
Joseph B. Nadeau/The Call From left, Marvin Gutierrez, Michael Sanchez Reyes and Eddie Lachance were among the members of Local 27 of the Internatio­nal Associatio­n of Bridge, Structural, Ornamental and Reinforcin­g Iron Workers showing up at the Statehouse in support of Governor...

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