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Is Lamont underestimating the trust issue?


HARTFORD, Conn. (WTNH)– Governor Ned Lamont and his allies in business, politics and labor, are starting a big push to sell his revised, scaled back, transportation plan in order to get it through the legislature.

But the Governor’s own words in the recent past are making ‘trust in state government’ a major hurdle.

Republicans and Democrats alike say the more modest plan to fix I-95 and other highway choke points and invest billions in rail improvements on all the rail lines is much more realistic than the previous plan.

But Republicans point out that many Connecticut residents just don’t trust the state government when it comes to adding highway tolls to the equation.

“How do you trust that these tolls are going to come down or how do you trust that the tolls are not going to go up when fiscal problems face the state in the future,” said Sen. Len Fasano (R-North Haven), the Senate Minority Leader.

All through last year’s campaign, Lamont said at campaign stops and in debates that he would only impose tolls on trucks to pay for transportation improvements.

Even five weeks after he was elected, he said that would be his plan. Here’s a transcript of an exclusive News 8 interview with Lamont on December 12, 2018, five weeks after he was elected:

Davis: Now that you’ve taken a look at the transportation funding issue, are you certain you can raise enough money just by tolling trucks, and is it just trucks or just out of state trucks?

Lamont: “It’s tractor trailer trucks coming in and out of our state. We talked to transportation, DOT, it looks like we can raise between two and three hundred million a year. Almost all those trucks come in from out of state, by the way, and and I can leverage that with (Cong.) John Larson on the Ways and Means Committee. We can get an infrastructure bill out of congress and we can put some real money to work to upgrade our transportation system in this state.”

Some Democratic lawmakers told their voters last year, that ‘trucks only’ tolls was the only thing they would ever vote for. It’s a trust issue for them too.

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