Put this in "Will this become an issue in the U.S. Senate race?" file.
Sometime next year motorists across Florida will begin paying higher tolls to use nearly 600 miles of highway according to information recently released by the Florida Department of Transportation.
The average toll increase will be about $.25 and it will affect major roads such as the Florida Turnpike, Alligator Alley, Sunshine Skyway bridge, the Veterans Expressway and the Beachline Expressway in Central Florida.
This toll hike was authorized by HB 985, a major transportation bill that was approved by the Republican-controlled Legislature during the 2007 session. It mandates that the tolls be raised at least once every five years to keep pace with inflation.
The bill since then has become known as the legislation that authorized the millions used to construct the controversial First District Court of Appeal or the "Tallahassee Taj Mahal."
But while that provision was slipped into the legislation in the waning days of the session the toll provisions were hotly debated on the floor of the Florida House.
The House ultimately approved the bill by a 68-49 margin with Rep. Adam Hasner, R-Boca Raton and current U.S. Senate candidate voting for it. Other Republicans who voted yes include House Speaker Marco Rubio and Sen. Mike Haridopolos.
But the legislation did not draw in universal support from GOP lawmakers. Legislators such as Rep. Dennis Ross (who is now in Congress) and current Senate Majority Leader Andy Gardiner were among those who voted no on the bill.
So why could this bill become an issue?
Because U.S. Rep. Connie Mack - and who is expected to jump to join the list of GOP contenders in the U.S. Senate - is among those who has spoken out loudly about raising tolls on Florida roads. Mack, for example, staunchly opposed a proposal to add tolls to Interstate 75 in southwest Florida to help finance a widening of the road.
"Tolls never go away," Mack told Lee County Commissioners back in 2008 according to the Naples Daily News. "They're an added tax. The easy thing to do is say 'Let's toll.'"
Former U.S. Sen. George LeMieux had nothing directly to do with the tolling bill. But LeMieux was chief of staff when then-Gov. Charlie Crist signed the legislation into law.
The toll increases are expected to generate $1.8 billion and while some of the money will be used to expand existing toll roads it will also be used to build the Wekiva Parkway in Central Florida.
It may be the toll increases will not become a campaign issue but the hikes will likely take effect shortly before the August Republican primary - meaning it could be fresh upon voters minds when it comes time to vote. And that means some campaign consultant could find it an issue to jump onto.