EXCLUSIVE: Gov. Lamont interview on ‘truck only tolls’ and public trust in government

Politics

HARTFORD, Conn. (WTNH) — Governor Ned Lamont says he has been absolutely assured by legislative leaders that his ‘trucks only tolls’ plan will come up for vote next month. He sits down with WTNH Chief Political Correspondent Mark Davis to talk about the road to passing his transportation plan.

Governor Lamont has had a pretty rough road deciding what he wants for a state transportation plan, but now he says he’s got the commitment from he needs from top Democrats in the Assembly.

Here’s a transcript of News 8’s exclusive interview Thursday:

[LAMONT] “It’s absolutely key that we fix the transportation system. We have a way to do it and tied to that is the Bonding bill, so we can get that money out to municipalities that are ready to make those investments.”

[DAVIS] “One year ago today, five weeks after the election, I asked you if you were still committed to the ‘trucks only tolls, you said you were. About six or eight weeks later you changed your mind and included passenger cars. Last month you went back to trucks [only]. Don’t you think that’s a problem for a Governor and a politician?

[LAMONT] “What’s a problem is not investing in our transportation system for fifty years. We’ve got a good option now. It’s a ‘trucks only’ option. It raises $200 million a year. It speeds up rail service from Hartford to New Haven to Stamford and New York. And it cleans up a lot of real congestion points.”

[DAVIS] “But don’t you see why there’s this trust in government thing and trust with the state government that people are concerned that it won’t be passenger cars in the future?

[LAMONT] “What they don’t trust is when people say we’re going to have a ‘Rainy Day Fund’ and we’re going to save that for when we have a recession so we don’t have to cut services for the most vulnerable, so we don’t have to raise taxes in the middle of a recession. What could be worse? They don’t trust it when we say ‘rather than protect our ‘Rainy Day Fund’ we’re going to squander it now, or spend that money now and hope to God we don’t have a recession in the next few years.'”

[DAVIS] “And what will you do if the truckers win their case in Rhode Island and then do a similar suit here?”

[LAMONT] “They’re not going to win their lawsuit. This is a law suit that’s been pending for a while. It will be resolved in the next couple of years, one way or the other. Right now the good news, Mark, is that the Trump Department of Transportation is continuing to fund Rhode Island despite the law suits. We get hit with law suits all the time in this state. It’s litigation-happy. You got to do the right thing and that’s what we’re doing.”

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