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Governor Lamont’s new transportation plan still not ready for prime time

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HARTFORD, Conn. (WTNH) — Governor Lamont says his multi-billion-dollar, ten year, transportation plan still is not ready to be ‘rolled out.’ He’s been talking about doing so for weeks, but top legislative leaders say they have seen no details.

It’s the middle of October and there’s still no plan for a Special Legislative session on transportation in the state capitol, and time is running out. Once the holiday period starts, lawmakers will be on break until the new year.

The governor toured small businesses in Litchfield County Tuesday and said his big transportation plan still isn’t ready.

“We’re going to have a very detailed roll out. You’ll know exactly what it’ll mean in terms of your commute,” said Governor Lamont.

When asked when exactly that roll out will be, Governor Lamont saying, “When? I’d say in the next couple of weeks. We want to get going on this soon.”

But, sources say legislative leaders have not seen any details of the plan and have not made even tentative plans for a Special Session.

In public appearances, the Governor has said that his proposal will address traffic choke points around the state with limited tolling on specific projects. Except, he now replaces the word tolls for ‘user fees,’ saying, “User fees on just those bridges and intersections that are the biggest choke points. Then we have the Trump Administration lined up to provide very discounted financing,” said the Governor.

Lamont is quick to add that he can’t access the low interest federal money unless there is a guaranteed cash flow, like a dedicated tax or tolls, to pay off the loan.

But it’s clear that even the limited tolling, or ‘user fee,’ he’s discussing is going to be a hard sell to state lawmakers.

A recent Hartford Courant/Sacred Heart University poll concluded that 58% of residents disapprove of Lamont’s handling of the toll issue.

The full story and more, tonight on News 8 at 6p.

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