Toll road bill goes to Governor DeSantis

A measure aimed at expanding or building three toll roads was sent Monday to Gov. Ron DeSantis, who will have until May 28 to decide whether to sign it, according to the Senate website.

The bill (SB 7068) was a top priority of Senate President Bill Galvano, R-Bradenton, during the legislative session that ended May 4. It would take initial steps to expand the Suncoast Parkway from the Tampa Bay area to the Georgia border; extend the Florida Turnpike west to connect with the Suncoast Parkway; and add a new multi-use corridor, including a toll road, from Polk County to Collier County.

Galvano argues the projects would help lead to economic development in rural areas, handle future population growth and provide additional hurricane-evacuation routes. But environmental groups want DeSantis to veto the bill, contending it would lead to sprawling development and damage natural habitats.

DeSantis has 15 days from the time he formally receives bills from the Legislature to sign, veto or allow them to become law without his signature.

The News Service of Florida contributed to this report.