Contested Terrain – Transforming Kennedy Plaza Community Groups Reject Paolino’s Proposals, Offer Alternatives
Contested Terrain – Transforming Kennedy Plaza
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
More Broken Promises from the Governor: Republicans Call for Toll Repeal
Rhode Island Deserves Better Roads and More Honesty
STATE HOUSE -- Today, Representative Patricia Morgan (R-District 26 Coventry, Warwick, West Warwick) is calling upon our state's leaders to halt RhodeWorks and return to sound budgeting principles by using existing money in our budget to pay for bridge repairs on the 6/10 highway.
"Last year, when RhodeWorks was rammed through the General Assembly, the Governor's rationale for the tolling and borrowing scheme was the promise that the federal government would provide a $400 million match. However, this summer we learned that Rhode Island's application for federal Fast Track money was rejected. Promise broken,” said Representative Patricia Morgan.
"Another part of the rationale for the installation of perpetual tolls on every major highway in Rhode Island was for a Bus Rapid Transit system that would be incorporated into the 6/10 reconstruction project. This system was viewed as a revitalizing transportation measure that would help low income earners travel to the city for better opportunities. Yet, the Governor announced last week that that idea, too, was being discarded,” Rep. Morgan added.
Representative Morgan continued, "Groups of Rhode Islanders have been advocating for an innovative design for 6/10 reconstruction, that would turn the superhighway structure into a more neighborhood friendly and less expensive boulevard. The Governor and her staff promised an open and thorough study of their concept. That promise, too, has been declared dead.”
"Tolls, which discriminate against one class of trucks and seek to force the trucking industry to repair a transportation grid that has been mismanaged by state leaders for decades, face huge legal challenges. Recently the courts, siding with truckers, ruled against the state of New York, which sought to use truck tolls to repair its canal system. The Governor promised that our tolling scheme would withstand all legal challenges, but failed to produce her evidence for that claim. Another promise that is going to be tested. Her track record seems to indicate that another broken promise is on the horizon.”
As a result of these broken promises, contrived rationales for the passage of harmful tolls, and the serious economic damage that the toll tax will bring to Rhode Island's staggering economy, Representative Patricia Morgan is calling on the state's leadership to halt all work associated with installing tolls in our state. Additionally, when the General Assembly reconvenes in January, the RhodeWorks law must be repealed without delay.
"We were told that this program would be matched with federal money. Since that will not happen, the hundreds of millions of dollars that leadership wanted immediately is no longer needed to match federal grants.”
“The Department of Transportation recently estimated that the cost to repair the infrastructure is less than half the original contrived estimate. However, the current estimated cost can be spread out over 5 years with lower impact to our state budget. Each year, $80 million could be appropriated from the budget."
"From my study of the budget, I am confident that by prioritizing the bridge repairs, we can readily identify the necessary funds within the money we already extract from hardworking Rhode Islanders. In truth, it is less than 1 % of the state budget."
"Given the new scope of work, it is time to stop this entire tolling and borrowing scheme. The smaller rebuild of the existing bridges simply does not require the original price tag. The promises that formed the rationale for installing costly and damaging perpetual tolls throughout Rhode Island have been discarded. Now it's time to discard the detrimental tolls and borrowing."
Much attention has been paid to the upcoming, September 7th "Commander In Chief Forum Event", featuring Donald Trump & Hillary Clinton, both for its focus on Veteran's Affairs, as well as their decision to exclude Libertarian Nominee Gary Johnson, a front runner in many Veteran's polls. So it was to our surprise, and delight when the following blog entry was brought to our attention. While it is somewhat cryptic as to the nature of Mr. Johnson's involvement ... in a future event? This does represent an tacit acknowledgement that the conversation is incomplete .. without all the parties at the table ... But ... if Johnson can't be on the same stage as ClintonTrump ...
From the Iraq & Afghanistans Veterans of America Blog . ....
"For over a decade and through multiple elections, IAVA has focused on finding every way possible to ensure veterans remain at the forefront of the American dialogue. As the 2016 election season continues to dominate headlines, IAVA will continue to be aggressive in advocating for our community to be a part of that dialogue.
As a non-partisan organization committed to advocating for the voices of all Post-9/11 veterans, IAVA applauds the efforts of Governor Gary Johnson’s and Dr. Jill Stein’s supporters to include their perspective in the conversation. We agree. The conversation focused on veterans should not end on September 7th and with the major party candidates. As a non-partisan organization – with an extremely politically diverse membership – we are committed to expanding the public conversation about the issues facing veterans with any viable candidate for President as often as possible.
As it stands today, Governor Johnson is now a candidate on ballots in all 50 states and exceeds 10% in a recent poll of active duty troops, Reservists and National Guard members conducted by the Military Times. Though Mr. Johnson still does not meet the historical standard for general election meetings between candidates set by the Presidential Debate Commission, IAVA took the extra step to develop our own, more inclusive threshold for our ‘Commander-in-Chief Forum.’ We appreciate the patience of our members as we carefully underwent this important process. We have now reached out to Governor Johnson’s campaign to invite him to participate in a Commander-in-Chief Forum event.
We have also reached out to Dr. Stein to invite her to engage in a dialogue with IAVA Members.
IAVA also believes we have a responsibility to inform our members that, as of today, neither Gov. Johnson nor Dr. Stein has even posted a veterans policy section on their website. For anyone vying to be Commander-in-Chief, that would be an important early step. IAVA’s comprehensive Policy Agenda, informed by our members nationwide, gives them an excellent place to go for guidance.
IAVA is always focused on empowering our generation of veterans and sharing our triumphs and challenges with all Americans. If national leaders want to talk seriously about veterans issues with our members, we’re excited to help make that happen. But as a non-profit organization, IAVA can not do this alone. We need all the help we can get to ensure our voices are front and center for all Americans during this important election season. Even more so, we need everyone to help after the election is over. IAVA is in this for the long haul. Our vital programs change and save lives daily. And just as our members will lead America for decades to come, we’ll need support that continues long after the current media attention has faded.
We also look forward to uniting all Americans just days after Election Day for Veterans Day 2016. It will be the perfect time for people of all political backgrounds to come together around our veterans and chart a course ahead that benefits all of us for generations to come.
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