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Republicans criticize latest toll proposal ahead of public hearing

Politics

HARTFORD, Conn. (WTNH) — A public hearing on Governor Ned Lamont‘s toll plan is taking place on Friday. As with past hearings on tolls, public response has gotten heated outside the hearing.

As it stands right now, Governor Lamont wants only trucks to pay for using our roads.

Here’s a break down of the latest proposal: It would impact 18-wheelers. The rates vary between $6 and $13. Higher for trucks that don’t have a Connecticut EZ pass.

As for the tolls, five of them would be on bridges along Interstate 95, three on I-84, and one each on 91, 395 and 684. There was a great deal of talk that the toll plan would come up during a special session. That’s not going to happen now. Instead, it will be front and center when lawmakers return to Hartford next week for the start of the actual legislative session. Two lawmakers from Fairfield spoke out against the plan on Thursday talking about what it essentially lacks.

“There is no mention whatever in covering rail commuter interests in Fairfield County, for me. There is none. I mean, I don’t care how you slice it at the end of the day it is one of the biggest fundamental reasons that we are looking at tolls as an infrastructure improvement,” State Senator Tony Hwang.

However, many are skeptical the proposed plan it won’t stay that way.

State Republicans and anti-toll leaders held a press conference ahead of the public hearing Friday morning in Hartford, and they were fired up to say the least. They called the toll proposal a bad bill that is poorly drafted and would be hurtful to the people of Connecticut.

They’re accusing the Democrats of being vague in terms of the numbers and how much money the tolls would actually bring into the state. They went on to say that this isn’t a transportation plan as it’s being sold, but rather simply toiling because there’s no promise for trains or buses.

Another governor says that this is going to be a toll only on trucks, and that’s being met with skepticism. All this will be front and center when lawmakers return to Hartford next week for the start of the actual legislative session.

Sen. Len Fasano (R) Minority Leader said, “All of us up here would like to thank the public for their endless support in voicing their opposition to tolls and coming out to many public hearings and meetings…that means a lot.”

Democrats say the current plan does not leave the option to toll all cars in the future.

The public hearing is happening in Hartford’s Legislative Office Building at 1 p.m.

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