Testimony on Avoiding Tolls and Debt with a P3 PayGo Plan



Good evening. My name is Justin Katz.  I’m the research director for the Rhode Island Center for Freedom & Prosperity.

The amazing thing about infrastructure, and this whole issue, is that we’ve got roads that need repair, we’ve got workers who want to repair them, we’ve got a public that wants to pay to fix the roads — the problem is we’ve got special interests who already have the money we’re already paying to fix the roads that won’t let us do it.  They’re holding that money hostage; they’re holding our roads hostage and holding the jobs hostage, saying, “You can’t do this unless you come up with new money somehow in your economy to fix this problem.

It brings to mind, actually, something a former chairman of this committee said recently, Steven Costantino, when somebody had suggested that he was in on the scandal of 38 Studios, and he said, “Well, look, I was just doing what I was tasked to do by my superiors,” meaning legislative leadership.  That’s not how representative democracy works.  The people upstairs are not your superiors; the people in Rhode Island are.

So, I’m basically here to give you the message that you have options. Don’t expect that you’ll be able to go out and say, “We had to fix the roads.”  A lot of the benefits everybody agrees on: We need new infrastructure; we need repairs; we need maintenance.  Don’t expect you’re going to be able to go out and say, “Well, we had to do it, and this was the only option,” because there are other options.

Continue reading on RIFreedom.org.

  • Rhett Hardwick

    Justin, excellent speech.

  • Max

    Nicely done Justin. Anyone know who’s paying and getting paid for the Rhode Works ads I’ve been watching all day during the storm?

    • OceanStateCurrent

      I believe it’s the unionized building trades special interest groups.

    • Art

      The thing is these trade unions are going to get the repair work regardless of the funding method. They should be reminded that the Governor’s plan includes borrowing that would send interest payments to Wall Street fat cats — the unions’ usual enemies.

      • Mike678

        Used to be–now in cahoots.

  • Art

    Absolutely spot on, Justin. I’ve been calling legislators and letting them know that I will help their opponents in upcoming elections if they vote for toll legislation.