Legislative Votes For and Against Tolls on the Sakonnet River Bridge

Rhode Islanders, mainly from the East Bay, have organized a protest at Clements Market in Portsmouth, this afternoon, against tolls on the Sakonnet River Bridge.  The hope is that the language that the General Assembly passed into law, this session, as Article 20 of the budget bill (7323Aaa) can be reversed.

That article and the budget to which it was attached were on the agendas of the RI House and Senate on June 7 and June 11, respectively. (The links are to the Ocean State Current‘s liveblogs, so readers can see who said what during debate.)  In the Senate, Article 20 came up for a vote when Sen. Louis DiPalma (D, Little Compton, Middletown, Newport, Tiverton) proposed an amendment to remove it from the bill.

In the House, several amendments were raised and voted down to modify the article to make it less burdensome on local residents.  The following table shows how the votes went in both chambers.  The House voted on the article in three parts: Section 4, transferring the bridge’s title to the RI Turnpike and Bridge Authority and authorizing tolls; parts of Section 3, authorizing the authority to maintain the bridge and set up tolls; and the rest of the article.

The votes below reflect the first vote, which is most explicit about tolls, but the article is written such that tolls would have been likely if any part of it passed.  However, the only differences for the other two votes were that Baldelli-Hunt voted in favor of the language of Section 3, and Messier voted against the rest of the article.

Two considerations that are interesting to keep in mind while reviewing these votes are that:

  • Newport and Middletown (two of the three Aquidneck Island communities) were at the top of the list in Rhode Island for both population loss and employment loss from 2000 to 2010.
  • Several of the legislators who advocated most loudly for pursuing “tax equity” by taxing “the rich” were apparently willing to exacerbate the payments that the non-rich have to pay to the government.
In favor of article 20 Opposed to article 20
Edith Ajello (D, Providence) Samuel Azzinaro (D, Westerly)
David Bennett (D, Warwick) Lisa Baldelli-Hunt (D, Woonsocket)
Christopher Blazejewski (D, East Providence, Providence) Michael Chippendale (R, Coventry, Foster, Glocester)
Jon Brien (D, Woonsocket) Doreen Costa (R, Exeter, North Kingstown)
John Carnevale (D, Johnston, Providence) Roberto DaSilva (D, East Providence, Pawtucket)
Maria Cimini (D, Providence) Spencer Dickinson (D, South Kingstown)
Elaine Coderre (D, Pawtucket) John Edwards (D, Portsmouth, Tiverton)
Arthur Corvese (D, North Providence) Laurence Ehrhardt (R, North Kingstown)
John DeSimone (D, Providence) Raymond Gallison (D, Bristol, Portsmouth)
Grace Diaz (D, Providence) Daniel Gordon (R, Little Compton, Portsmouth, Tiverton)
Deborah Fellela (D, Johnston) Scott Guthrie (D, Coventry)
Frank Ferri (D, Warwick) Joy Hearn (D, Barrington, East Providence)
Gordon Fox (D, Providence) Russell Jackson (D, Middletown, Newport)
Arthur Handy (D, Cranston) Brian Patrick Kennedy (D, Hopkinton, Westerly)
Raymond Hull (D, North Providence, Providence) Charlene Lima (D, Cranston)
Robert Jacquard (D, Cranston) Karen MacBeth (D, Cumberland)
Raymond Johnston (D, Pawtucket) Jan Malik (D, Barrington, Warren)
Cale Keable (D, Burrillville, Glocester) James McLaughlin (D, Central Falls, Cumberland)
Donald Lally (D, Narragansett, North Kingstown, South Kingstown) Rene Menard (D, Cumberland, Lincoln)
Michael Marcello (D, Cranston, Scituate) Patricia Morgan (R, Coventry, Warwick, West Warwick)
Peter Martin (D, Newport) Richard Morrison (D, Bristol, Warren)
Nicholas Mattiello (D, Cranston) Brian Newberry (R, Burrillville, North Smithfield)
John McCauley (D, Providence) Peter Palumbo (D, Cranston)
Joseph McNamara (D, Cranston, Warwick) Daniel Reilly (R, Middletown, Newport, Portsmouth)
Leo Medina (D, Providence) Deborah Ruggiero (D, Jamestown, Middletown)
Helio Melo (D, East Providence) John Savage (R, East Providence)
Mary Duffy Messier (D, East Providence, Pawtucket) Gregory Schadone (D, North Providence)
Eileen Naughton (D, Warwick) Joseph Trillo (R, Warwick)
Jared Nunes (D, Coventry, West Warwick) Robert Watson (R, East Greenwich, West Greenwich)
Jeremiah O’Grady (D, Lincoln, Pawtucket)  
J. Patrick O’Neill (D, Pawtucket)  
Peter Petrarca (D, Johnston, Lincoln, Smithfield)  
Robert Phillips (D, Woonsocket)  
William San Bento (D, North Providence, Pawtucket)  
Patricia Serpa (D, Coventry , Warwick, West Warwick)  
Agostino Silva (D, Central Falls)  
Scott Slater (D, Providence)  
Teresa Ann Tanzi (D, Narragansett, South Kingstown)  
Michael Tarro (D, Providence)  
Lisa Tomasso (D, Coventry, West Greenwich)  
Stephen Ucci (D, Cranston, Johnston)  
Larry Valencia (D, Charlestown, Exeter, Richmond)  
Donna Walsh (D, Charlestown, New Shoreham, South Kingstown, Westerly)  
Anastasia Williams (D, Providence)  
Thomas Winfield (D, Glocester, Smithfield)  
In favor of article 20 Opposed to article 20
Frank Ciccone (D, North Providence, Providence) Dennis Algiere (R, Charlestown, Westerly)
Marc Cote (D, North Smithfield, Woonsocket) David Bates (R, Barrington, Bristol)
Elizabeth Crowley (D, Central Falls, Cumberland, Pawtucket) Louis DiPalma (D, Little Compton, Middletown, Newport, Tiverton)
Daniel DaPonte (D, East Providence, Pawtucket) Walter Felag (D, Bristol, Tiverton, Warren)
Frank DeVall (D, East Providence) Dawson Hodgson (R, East Greenwich, North Kingstown, Warwick)
James Doyle (D, Pawtucket) Nicholas Kettle (R, Coventry, Foster, Scituate)
Paul Fogarty (D, Burrillville, Glocester, North Smithfield) Francis Maher (R, Charlestown, Exeter, Hopkinton, Richmond, West Greenwich)
Hanna Gallo (D, Cranston) Bethany Moura (R, Cumberland, Lincoln)
Maryellen Goodwin (D, Providence) Christopher Ottiano (R, Bristol, Portsmouth)
Paul Jabour (D, Providence) Teresa Paiva Weed (D, Jamestown, Newport)
Beatrice Lanzi (D, Cranston) Michael Pinga (D, West Warwick)
Frank Lombardo (D, Johnston) Glenford Shibley (R, Coventry, East Greenwich, Warwick, West Warwick)
Erin Lynch (D, Warwick)  
Michael McCaffrey (D, Warwick)  
Joshua Miller (D, Cranston, Warwick)  
Donna Nesselbush (D, Pawtucket)  
Edward O’Neill (I, Lincoln, North Providence, Pawtucket)  
Rhoda Perry (D, Providence)  
Roger Picard (D, Cumberland, Woonsocket)  
Juan Pichardo (D, Providence)  
Dominick Ruggerio (D, North Providence, Providence)  
James Sheehan (D, Narragansett, North Kingstown)  
Susan Sosnowski (D, New Shoreham, South Kingstown)  
John Tassoni (D, North Smithfield, Smithfield)  
William Walaska (D, Warwick)  


Of the following two issues related to Rhode Island’s public schools, which one is a greater concern?

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