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Protesters converge on the Capitol outside public hearing on ‘trucks only tolls’ plan

Politics

HARTFORD, Conn (WTNh) — Friday’s hearing could be the only hearing on the toll plan, which is why at least 200 people traveled to the Capitol complex to tell lawmakers how they feel.

RELATED: State Democrat leaders say assembly will take up ‘truck toll’ plan the week of Feb. 10

“We need tolls, we need tolls!”

The firey crowd was the direct result of frustration on all sides of the state’s transportation issue.

“No tolls, no tolls!”

The crowd of about 200 protesters was divided.

Kimberley Fiorello, who against tolls, drove up from Greenwich to be heard.

“The Connecticut people want their government to control their spending, just like we have too,” she said.

She and others wearing red — representing anti-tolls — believe the tolls will punish the working class and not be limited to trucks only. Ultimately, Fiorello said it would be sticking it to the truckers and to ourselves.

Rev. Ernestine Holloway is against tolls too. She is from Meriden and said minimum wage jobs don’t pay enough as it is. If cars are subject to tolls it will be worse.

“What happens when they take our taxes? I still can’t afford the tolls.”

Those wearing orange in support of the truck only tolls believe the money brought in by the policy shift will create an avenue for the trades and construction.

Wanda Wilson, a construction worker from Middletown, was asked why she was for the legislation. She said, “I’m in the building trades and we need the work.”

Ted Grabowski is from East Hartford and represents the building trades; he said the income from tolls will help pay for the roads and out of state people will help pay for tolls.

This may be the only public hearing on the subject. Lawmakers in charge are not voting on the issue. Instead, it is being parked for the time being.

Patrick Sasser of No Tolls CT said he’s surprised by the delay in a vote on the issue.

“I find it surprising that now all of a sudden they are taking it off the table and possibly moving it to regular session.”

Next week is when lawmakers return to the Capitol. You can bet the protestors will be back if, in fact, tolls come up for a vote.

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