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COVINGTON, Ky. (WDRB) -- Kentucky's U.S. Senate candidates offered plans to pay for the Ohio River Bridges Project Friday, but differ on whether they represent tax increases.
Republican Sen. Mitch McConnell was in Ft. Mitchell, Ky., Friday morning, where the rebuilding of the I-71/75 bridge to Cincinnati, the Brent Spence Bridge, was the talk of the town.
Ohio leaders already have funding in place, with tolls to help pay for it, but Kentucky does not, and local leaders have been lukewarm about tolls.
Enter Sen. McConnell, who says congress should repeal prevailing wage laws, the Davis Bacon Act, to save $13 billion over 10 years.
He says it's money Kentucky could tap for the Brent Spence Bridge, and later, Ohio River bridges costs in Louisville, all without raising taxes.
'What we've done here is pick out a 'pay-for' that is thoroughly credible, that drives up the cost of federal construction projects, and provides the funding for things that are way more important than overpaying for federal projects." McConnell said.
McConnell says that bill would not allow tolls, but he could not say whether it would negate tolling plans already in place, like with the Ohio River Bridges Project in Louisville.
McConnell stated, "this bill that I'm talking about does not authorize tolls, and I don't favor tolls myself. That's an issue that will be sorted out, if it's sorted out, at the state and local levels."
One minute before McConnell was scheduled to speak, Democratic candidate Alison Lundergan Grimes released her plan to raise money for the bridges, by eliminating what she called tax loopholes "for millionaires and billionaires." She doesn't like tolls either.
McConnell called her plan a tax increase. Grimes' reply was that McConnell's plan was "a political ploy that will go nowhere."
Organized labor, one of the groups strongest in support of Grimes, won't like any change to prevailing wages.
McConnell says he'll introduce the bill in the coming week, but would stand a better chance of passing the bill next year if he is reelected.