NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH)– State lawmakers are already gearing up for the start of the 2020 General Assembly session that begins in just three weeks.
Some of those lawmakers were talking directly to members of the New Haven area business community Thursday. They’re addressing issues that could have a major impact on our state
Thursday morning at Southern Connecticut State University, a legislative breakfast was put on by the Greater New Haven Chamber of Commerce.
“This is a great opportunity for dialogue between the business community and our elected officials,” said Garrett Sheehan, Greater New Haven Chamber Of Commerce.
The timing is pretty important, right before the 2020 legislative session. And this meal was served up some rather sensitive topics expected to come up at the Capitol.
Like tolls, on the minds of many in that room.
“Tolls are going to overshadow everything until it either passes or dies,” said Rep. Themis Klarides, (R) House Minority Leader.
Democrats still maintain the money is needed to help with transportation projects and that the current “trucks only” plan on the table is what Governor Lamont campaigned on.
“First the trucks do cause wear and tear on the roads. A fully loaded truck can cause a lot of damage. Seconds, it’s really the only way we can capture revenue from out of state vehicles otherwise the cost is born by Connecticut drivers and businesses,” said Sen. Martin Looney, (D) Senate President Pro Tempore.
Republicans with a much different explanation say Democrats can’t get it passed even though they control the House and the Senate.
“Here’s the problem, there’s no trust in government in the state of Connecticut. Nobody believes this will maintain and continue trucks only,” said Klarides.
The business community is also paying close attention to air travel.
“This year our agenda is really focused on Tweed New Haven Airport. We want to the expansion to occur there,” said Sheehan.
Supporters of the idea say it would benefit the New Haven area greatly, providing more options and direct access to the southern part of our state. But those who live near the airport are concerned.
“I support development at Tweed but it has to be in a way that accomodates the needs of the New Haven community and the East Haven community on both sides of the airport. There are viable neighborhoods there,” said Looney.
All these topics and more to be tackled in the weeks and months ahead. The legislative session begins February 5th.