Panel OKs partnership deal that could lead to Ky.-Ohio toll bridge

FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) - A bill that would allow public-private partnerships for projects has drawn objections from a Kentucky lawmaker who says it would be used to charge tolls to finance a new Ohio River bridge between Cincinnati and Covington.

The measure was approved by the House Appropriations and Revenue Committee Thursday.

It would allow state and local governments in Kentucky to partner with private sources to finance transportation and public works projects.

Rep. Arnold Simpson of Covington said such financing plans could be used to assess tolls to build a bridge alongside the Brent Spence Bridge. He said his constituents don't want to pay tolls.

State Transportation Secretary Mike Hancock said a public-private partnership offers a way to pay for the bridge. He said tolls would be a major part of the financing plan.

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