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House Minority Leader hopes to repeal law that created RI truck tolls

Recent talk about new programs and cuts in the car tax has House Minority Leader Rep. Patricia Morgan thinking there’s no need for tolls. (WJAR)

Rhode Island’s truck tolls have always been controversial, but some felt it was the only way to come up with the money to fix Rhode Island’s subpar bridges.

Recent talk about new programs and cuts in the car tax has House Minority Leader Rep. Patricia Morgan thinking there’s no need for tolls.

“We’re looking at starting a whole new entitlement for free college tuition, that’s $30 million,” she said. “With that money alone we could have avoided having tolls. Supposedly, we’re broke last year, but this year we’re rolling in the dough.”

NBC 10 asked Rep. Marvin Abney, who is the chairman of the House Finance Committee, about Morgan's claim that there’s plenty of money to take care of the bridges.

Abney explained proposals for free college or car tax reductions are not in the budget, but that the 10-year plan for bridge and road repair is predicated on the toll money flowing.

“It would have an immediate, and a large impact of the out years in terms of making sure you have enough money to do the work for our roads and bridges,” Abney told NBC 10.

Morgan still believes the state has the money without imposing tolls. She acknowledged voters in last year’s election didn’t reject lawmakers who supported tolls and hopes that this latest opportunity will spur citizens to contact their representatives.

“I’m putting the bill in. I’m their representative,” Morgan said. “It’s up to them if they want tolls or not. You know I keep hoping the people of Rhode Island will throw off those old canards of the past.”

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