COVINGTON, Ky. (AP) - A northern Kentucky lawmaker is balking at
the idea of forcing local residents to pay for a new Ohio River bridge. Opposition to a toll, in part, has prompted him to look at running for run for House Whip during next year's General Assembly.
Arnold Simpson (D-Covington), is spearheading an effort to keep the federal government from sticking locals with the $3 billion cost of replacing the Brent Spence Bridge, which connects Covington to Cincinnati.
Simpson said he's renamed the possible fee charged to drivers crossing the bridge from "toll" to "urban bridge tax" because it forces locals to shoulder too much of the financial burden.
"If you want tolls in Kentucky, then toll everything," he said. "If not, if you are just tolling on bridges in Louisville and northern Kentucky, then it's a bridge tax charged to our urban areas, and it's unfair."
Simpson's stand is part of an effort to become more vocal while representing the state's fastest growing area. He is considering a run for House Whip during next year's General Assembly after growing frustrated by the inability of Democrats to push legislation through during this year's session.
He could have trouble rounding up enough support for a leadership position. Northern Kentucky is a stronghold for Republicans, who have helped put Rep. Katie Stine (R-Southgate) as Senate President Pro Tem.