Friday, June 20, 2014

SAKONNET TOLL EQUIPMENT SHUT DOWN FOR GOOD

It feels good to again be able to cross the Sakonnet River Bridge without that rising sense of anger and frustration about the toll.

http://www.heraldnews.com/article/20140619/NEWS/140615387

PROJO: "CHAFEE ORDERS TOLLS TO END ON SAKONNET BRIDGE BY NOON FRIDAY"

This glorious headline has been the goal during the frustrating two-year battle against Sakonnet tolls. Despite widespread opposition to tolls by East Bay businesses, citizens, and elected officials, and the countless reasons they's be destructive and unfair and self-defeating financially, it took a prolonged, unified effort by individuals and groups of all political persuasions to bring about the right result. 

And that should be the lesson of this drama: OUR government WILL serve US when people are active, informed and united. And a good idea will be enacted, or a bad one reversed, if a majority wants it so and is determined to make it happen.

Brian Medeiros

Tiverton, RI

http://www.providencejournal.com/news/government/20140619-chafee-orders-tolls-to-end-on-sakonnet-bridge-by-noon-friday.ece

IT'S OFFICIAL! GOVERNOR SIGNS BUDGET, & SAKONNET TOLLS ARE HISTORY!

AND RI HAS A TRANSPORTATION-FUNDING PROGRAM AS WELL! (link below)


Congratulations and thanks to all who played a part in bringing this very bad idea to an end. This includes the citizen groups and individuals who doggedly fought this fight, and our local Reps & Senators who made sure our voices were heard by State leadership. 

Special thanks Rep Jay Edwards, Sen Chris Ottiano, & Sen Lou DiPalma for crafting the transportation-funding bill that made this result possible, and brought some good out of a bad situation.


Brian Medeiros

Tiverton, RI

http://www.providencejournal.com/breaking-news/content/20140619-chafee-signs-8.7-billion-budget-into-law.ece

Monday, June 16, 2014

SENATE PASSES BUDGET, GOVERNOR SAYS HE'LL SIGN IT

Sakonnet tolls are about to be eliminated. As expected, the Senate passed the budget, and Governor Chafee issued a statement saying he'll sign it (link below). After the last-minute changes a year ago, it may be best to wait until the budget is actually signed to declare victory. But this long, hard-fought effort against a very bad idea, a destructive and unfair toll, appears to be over. 

Thanks to all the citizens, groups and especially our local Reps and Senators for their unfailing effort to right this wrong.


Brian Medeiros

Tiverton, RI

http://www.providencejournal.com/politics/content/20140616-r.i.-senate-approves-new-8.7-billion-state-budget.ece

SENATE VOTES TONIGHT ON BUDGET, INCLUDING SAKONNET TOLL ELIMINATION

Final Senate approval of the House's budget is expected to come tonight (see link). If Senate Finance and the full Senate pass the House's budget as expected, it heads to the Governor to be signed into law, vetoed (with a veto override likely), or to become law without any action by the Governor.

http://www.providencejournal.com/politics/content/20140616-ri-lawmakers-poised-for-final-budget-votes-final-week-of-2014-session.ece

Sunday, June 15, 2014

BUDGET PASSES HOUSE OVERWHELMINGLY

The Budget including the infrastructure-funding plan passed the House overwhelmingly (see link below). Now on to the Senate...

http://www.eastbayri.com/news/full-ri-house-passes-budget-plan-that-eliminates-bridge-tolls/