In the wake of comments by the Thruway Executive Director indicating that tolls will be increased in the near future, State Senator Mark Grisanti (R-Erie County) today pledged to “fight against the downstate interests that are behind this raid on the wallets of upstate taxpayers”.

“The downstate interests are looking to force upstate Thruway users to pay for the reconstruction of the Tappan Zee Bridge,” Grisanti charged.  “They won’t admit it publicly, but that’s exactly what they’re planning”.

 “Every upstate resident — whether they are Thruway users or not — will be negatively impacted if the downstaters get their way,” he added.  “For example, grocery prices will increase because it will cost truckers more to get products to grocery stores.  Those added costs will be passed on to consumers.”

 Grisanti was reacting to comments made Wednesday by Thruway Executive Director Thomas Madison, who said it was “fair to say” that there will be “toll adjustments” in the future.

 “Our revenue needs are significant, and they grow,” Madison said.

“Once more, we see why it is so necessary for upstate Republicans to retain a working majority in the State Senate,” said Grisanti, whose 2010 upset victory returned control of the Senate to the GOP.  “We’re the only thing preventing total downstate domination of state government.”

“If New York City needs to pay for a bridge, let’s reform our medicaid program, which is riddled with fraud and abuse”, said Grisanti. “We should not be raising tolls. In fact, we should be removing them altogether”.