Bill would change road-repair funding - News, Weather and Classifieds for Southern New England

Bill would change road-repair funding

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PROVIDENCE -

Roads and bridges all across Rhode Island need repair, and the state set up a revolving fund to support those jobs.

Municipalities can borrow from the fund, but have to pay back any money taken from that source.

The League of Cities and Towns is OK with that.

"This is enabling legislation. So, we're generally OK with this. We respect the city and town councils and mayors and managers making good decisions that this is a critical thing to do and that they really need to do this work and that they should have the right to go ahead. It's enabling. They don't have to do it," said the league's Peder Schaefer.

But some oppose a bill that would remove voter approval as a requirement. They don't understand why taxpayers have been eliminated from the process of borrowing money for whatever purpose.

"Any time the government starts to create these new ways to spend money without having to check with the people who actually pay for it, it's worth opposing. We shouldn't be going down these roads. We've seen with mechanisms like moral obligation bonds through 38 Studios, these are often a way just to do pet projects or other spending without having to compensate in other priorities that the town or city or state may have," said Justin Katz of the Center for Freedom and Prosperity.

The state House of Representatives will vote on the bill Tuesday.

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