(WTNH) — Governor Lamont was scheduled to sign the new state budget into law late Wednesday afternoon and says he’s ready to move full speed ahead on highway tolls to get that passed in a Special legislative session.
He called the Republicans’ transportation plan alternative Wednesday “a disastrous idea” but then said he’s ready to compromise.
The Governor presided over the second Bonding Commission meeting of his term approving funds for state parks, housing projects, a ferry dock, and $850 million in borrowing for transportation projects over the next 12 months, the Governor saying,
“This is sort of a status quo, what we got right now, which is not enough to keep us in a state of ‘good repair.”Governor Ned Lamont
The Governor and the D.O.T. say that state needs at least double that amount to keep up with the maintenance and improvements needed to keep traffic moving and described the Republican plan to prioritize projects and do more borrowing this way;
“I think it’s a disastrous idea….the idea that we’d add on another $750 million a year, this building is addicted to debt and all they want to do is double down on it.”Governor Ned Lamont
But Republicans say it’s clear the Democrats don’t have the votes to pass a tolling plan, either because there’s too much public opposition or they think it’ll hurt their chances in the next election plus imposing tolls could take years, so their Prioritize Progress borrowing plan is the only alternative.
Rep. Chris Davis (R-East Windsor) is a Republican member of the Bonding Commission saying,
“A disastrous plan for the people of Connecticut is taking hundreds of millions of dollars out of their pocket and not even being able to do transportation related projects for many years out into the future. The Republican plan calls for these projects to be start and started right away.”Rep. Chris Davis (R- East Windsor)
After calling the Republican plan a “disastrous idea” the Governor said,
“That said; am I ready to compromise and get a deal done that can include some bonding and some tolling, which is paid for by users, many of whom are out of state? Absolutely.”Governor Ned Lamont