RI transportation proposal bans most bridge tolls

Rhode Island lawmakers are proposing legislation to raise more than $1 billion over the next decade for state transportation, banning tolls on most East Bay bridges.{}{} {}The proposal wouldn't ban toll increases on the Pell Bridge. One sponsor, Democratic Sen. Louis DiPalma of Middletown, tells The Newport Daily News the lawmakers recognized that might violate the Pell Bridge's bond covenants. He said with annual appropriations a toll increase shouldn't be needed.{}{} {}The legislation bans tolls on the Sakonnet River, Jamestown-Verrazzano and Mount Hope bridges.{}{} {}It would raise $17.5 million in new revenue through a temporary 5 percent surcharge to Department of Motor Vehicle fees. The rest of the revenue comes from diverting existing revenue or cutting spending.{}{} {}Gov. Lincoln D. Chafee told the Daily News he's open to all transportation funding options.