Voters to decide bridge tolls - unless gov. vetoes
Dave Cohen Reporting
Unless the governor vetoes the bill, voters will get to decide the future of tolls on the Crescent City Connection.
Louisiana lawmakers have sent the legislation to Governor Bobby Jindal. It says people in Orleans, Jefferson and Plaquemines Parishes should vote on extending the tolls beyond the end of this year.
"The governor shall call an election to be held at the same time as the statewide election held on November 6, 2012, in the election area to determine whether tolls shall be collected starting at 12:01 a.m. on January 1, 2013, on the Crescent City Connection Bridge, at the rate currently collected," the bill says.
Supporters say the money is needed for bridge maintenance, policing and other needs.
Opponents say the money has been squandered over the years and is not necessary. They want the governor to veto the bill and uphold his long-time pledge to fight any new taxes.
If it does make it to the voters, the ballot will read:
"Shall a toll be collected on the Crescent City Connection Bridge at the rate provided by law beginning at 12:01 a.m., January 1, 2013, and ending at midnight, December 31, 2033,with the toll revenue dedicated solely for the following purposes alongU.S. 90Z from Interstate 10 to U.S. 90: operations, maintenance, landscaping, grass cutting, trash pickup, functional and ornamental lighting, police functions, inspections, motorist assistance patrols, and capital projects on the bridges, approaches, and roadways?"