Toll reciprocity to be discussed with surrounding states

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Governor Lamont’s office has confirmed that he will be discussing highway tolls reciprocity with the governors of our surrounding states in the very near future. 

Massachusetts may be first in line to discuss this, as it has now been reported that Connecticut drivers owe the Bay State millions in unpaid tolls for the Massachusetts Turnpike.

So, Connecticut would have to cut a deal with Massachusetts and the other states to force Connecticut residents to pay up.

Speaker of the House Rep. Joe Aresimowicz (D-Berlin) said, “It’s the only way ours is going to work and it’s the only way theirs is going to work.” 

One of Lamont’s strongest arguments for highway tolls is that 40 percent of them would be paid by out of state drivers.

Some are disputing that number, but whatever it is, Connecticut would have a hard time collecting it if other states can’t do the same thing. So, Connecticut could force you to pay unpaid tolls in the surrounding states by holding up your registration at renewal time.  

“Our state will say, ‘Hey, you’ve got $500 outstanding in Rhode Island. Before you can renew your registration, you’ve got to come up to terms with the state of Rhode Island,'” said Rep. Roland Lemar (D-New Haven), the co-chair of the Transportation Committee. 

Related Content: Gov. Lamont offers $1 bus fare in exchange for tolls

Sen. Carlo Leone (D-Stamford) is the other co-chair of the committee, and said, “We would like to address it in the bill by having language that addresses it; that we’re negotiating with the states to make sure that it’s fully flushed out.”

For Republicans, it’s another reason to be opposed to tolls. 

The House Minority Leader, Rep. Themis Klarides (R-Derby), said, “Giving up our individual citizens’ privacy and data is certainly not anything we would support.” 

Sen. Leone responded, “It’s not to enforce other issues. Anything that would be outside toll collection would have to go through the courts via subpoena, that sort of thing.”

Sen. Leone also said he is hopeful that a compromise highway tolls bill can be completed for legislators to review by the end of this week and it will include language on toll reciprocity.

WEB EXTRA: Letter addressed to Gov. Lamont sent by several organizations and groups in CT

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