Take Action – Ask your legislator to support RhodeWorks
February 5, 2016 – The truck tolling proposal, designed to accelerate investment in the state’s crumbling bridges (rated worst in the nation) will likely be acted upon next week, following hearings in Senate and House Finance Committees this week.
Grow Smart RI has joined with other business and civic leaders in support of this plan to strengthen Rhode Island’s transportation “system” recognizing both the dire safety and economic consequences of doing nothing.
Legislators are likely hearing from many constituents whipped into a frenzie by the trucking industry, talk radio and others, so it’s important that they hear from suporters too.
Here’s a sample email. Click this link to find your legislator’s email address.
Sent: Friday, February 5, 2016 2:01:59 PM
To: firstname.lastname@example.org; REP-NEWBERRY@rilegislature.gov
Subject: Please support RhodeWorks (S-2246 / H-7409)
As a constituent who’s very concerned about the state of our transportation infrastructure, I hope that you will support S-2246 / H-7409. I’m sure you’re hearing from a number of constituents who oppose it, because I think it’s naturally more likely for people to contact their representatives when they oppose something versus when they support it.
We’ve known about the significant under-funding of our transportation infrastructure for several years (Think 2008 Blue Ribbon Panel, 2011 Senate Study Commisison on Transportation Funding, 2013 OMB Performance Report). We’ve also known that our collective delay in confronting it would only make it more expensive and harder to address. Fast-forward to 2016… here we are.
While no bill is perfect and will surely have some negative unintended consequence, I believe the proposal before you is fair, equitable and would keep Rhode Island competitive with other Northeast states. I don’t, for example, favor an increase in the gas or diesel tax since Rhode Island is already nearly 8 cents higher than Massachusetts (on both). I believe that raising the state gas tax would put us at a competitive disadvantage driving down RI gas/diesel sales and negatively affecting many more Rhode Islanders. Ideally, Congress would increase the “federal” gas tax (18.4 cents and unchanged since 1993) and distribute the increase for transportation investments to the states where it was collected.
In my view, this issue has been studied at great length. There has been ample time for vetting this and alternative proposals. The time for analysis has ended and the time for action is now. I believe this is the best available option and I commend the Governor, The Senate President and the Speaker for their courage in supporting what is a difficult, but necessary and right thing to do to move our state forward.
Thank you for your consideration and for your service to Rhode Island.