HARTFORD, Conn. (WTNH) — Governor Ned Lamont has changed his mind again on his transportation plan. He now said he wants a “trucks only” plan to help rebuild the state’s transportation system.
The announcement coming after a two-hour meeting with top legislative leaders from both political parties that broke up late Tuesday afternoon.
He said during the campaign he wanted tolls only on trucks. After he was elected, he decided he wanted tolls on all vehicles. Now, after the legislative reality that is a no go, he’s back in favor of trucks only tolls.
“No Tolls” demonstrators stood out front of the governor’s mansion urging motorists to blow their horn for “no tolls” and many people complied.
They kept up their vigil all afternoon. There was a much smaller contingent from the state building trades also out front. They favor tolls because they feel it will create the most jobs.
After the meeting with the leadership, Governor Lamont said he was now ready to push for tolls on trucks only again.
“Let’s start with trucks only. You don’t want cars and trucks, I salute the Democrats from the House. They’ve come forward with a plan, it raises over $280 million.”
The governor now apparently coming to the reality that a plan that tolls cars and trucks cannot pass the Assembly. Senate President Pro tem, Sen. Martin Looney (D-New Haven) saying, “The idea of tolling passenger cars is completely off the table, period, permanently. What we are looking at now is a limited proposal to toll trucks on bridges.”
But Republicans said their no tolls plan is the only way to go, they’ve seen the numbers on trucks only tolling and they don’t add up.
“They just want to have a truck toll and we believe a truck toll is a non-starter and is not the right way to go because the confidence that it is going to remain a truck toll is very low,” said Senate Minority Leader, Sen. Len Fasano (R-North Haven).
“We don’t actually believe the trucks only plan works,” added House Minority Leader Rep. Themis Klarides (R-Derby). “We don’t believe in the tolls avenue to begin with because we feel there’s other ways to do it that are more responsible.”
The Republicans said the governor told them he will redraft again and get back to them next week, after Thanksgiving.