Repubs push no tolls transportation plan

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It’s called “Prioritize Progress” and it’s the only transportation plan on the table at the State Capitol
that has no highway tolls.

Republicans in the General Assembly have been pushing a ‘no tolls’ transportation plan for nearly five years and they got the full public hearing treatment for their plan Friday.

Senate Minority Leader Sen. Len Fasano (R-North Haven) told fellow lawmakers on the Finance Revenue and Bonding Committee,”You get $65 Billion at the end of 30 years, that’s what we bring to the table. No taxes, no tolls, no pick pocketing of the public.”

Related: Lamont looking to borrow against future toll revenues

They said that by prioritizing transportation construction projects and borrowing at a careful rate, the state can do everything that’s really needed. 

The Governor has praised the Republicans for coming up with a plan…but he said it would use up all of the state’s borrowing capacity at the expense of things like schools and water treatment projects and spread the cost out for too many years.

Governor Ned Lamont added, “Putting those costs onto our kids is just the type of thing that would be, I think devastating to our bond rating and devastating to our fiscal equilibrium.”

In a direct response to that criticism, House Minority Leader Rep. Themis Klarides (R-Derby) said,  “The notion that we do not support and put money in for other important bonding matters is just a falicy.”

But toll advocates say the Republican plan forces all state residents to pick up the tab, where with
tolls, 40 percent of the tab would be picked up by out of state drivers passing through.

Sen. Carlo Leone (D-Stamford) said, “The cost to a Connecticut user is less and it’s only those who are on the roadways that are providing that burden, not everyone in the entire state.”

The Governor’s office says they are working to finalize their highway tolls plan and expect to release something next week.

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