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Democrats don't like toll road privatization talk

House Democratic Leader Dan Gelber and other top Democrats on Monday ripped into toll road privatization plans that are now being weighed by Gov. Charlie Crist.

"We remain concerned that in responding to an immediate need for revenue we will be imposing higher tolls on our citizens in the long term.  We shouldn't trade long term pain for a short term gain,'' said Gelber in response to news accounts that Crist's office is looking at leasing roads such as the Sunshine Skyway and Alligator Alley.

Crist hasn't said he would sign on to the leasing of toll roads, but he also said that he is open to "innovative" ideas to generate needed revenue at a time when legislators have to slash the state budget.