State rep criticizes governor’s toll plan

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – An often-vocal member of the Rhode Island General Assembly is sounding an alarm on Governor Gina Raimondo’s Rhode Works plan.

In October, Representative Patricia Morgan requested specific information about the truck toll proposal from the Rhode Island Department of Transportation.

Two months later, she received 1,500 pages worth of documents, but says she didn’t receive the information she asked for.

Rep. Morgan says she twice requested information about diversion routes on the Rt. 6/10 highway, but RIDOT denied those requests, claiming what she wanted were working documents.

“The governor says everything is tentative, everything is proposed. We still have a right to know what they are.” Morgan says, “We shouldn’t be passing a bill unless there is some reasonable expectation about what we’re going to get at the end of the process. It can’t be pass the bill and trust us. No, that doesn’t work. “

The bill has yet to be introduced in the House of Representatives, but Morgan says important details need to come out first that are in those documents. The details include if communities will be affected, what routes trucks would take to bypass the tolls, and if it would affect property values.

Morgan says Rhode Islanders may want to know that information before anything is voted on.

“It’s important for us to have all those facts. Why wouldn’t the governor want us to have them? There’s the issue and that’s why people should be alarmed. What’s she hiding?” says Morgan.

A RIDOT spokesperson says the department provided all the documents that were responsive to Rep. Morgan’s public records request, providing an estimated 1,500 pages of documents.

Rep. Morgan says she will continue asking for more information and vows that if she doesn’t get it, she won’t vote.

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