Tolls proposal on very bumpy road at State Capitol

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TV, online and direct mail advertising by a coalition of construction industry and labor unions is pushing hard to convince people that electronic highway tolls are the only solution for Connecticut’s transportation future.

A female announcer on the TV spots said, “With tolls trucks and out of state drivers will pay more, we will pay less and taxpayers will get a break. Connecticut needs to fix our roads now. Our family safety depends on it.”

Related Content: Will tolls take a toll on tourism?

Governor Lamont thinks his toll plan is on cruise control.

He stated, “Three bills, ours is one of them. I think the three are going to be married. I think you’re going to see that very, very soon and we’ll be able to announce that surely this week and we’ll have a vote accordingly.”

Rep. Bob Godfrey (D-Danbury) disagrees, and said. “This whole thing has been done wrong from the beginning.” 

Godfrey is not the only Democrat in the House that is unconvinced. Republicans are all opposed, so, if 15 Democrats say no, the toll bill is on a dead end. 

Godfrey added, “None of the details are even close to being filled in and, as you know, we don’t vote on ideas here, we vote on the language in the bill and there’s no bill.”

Related Content: Repubs push no tolls transportation plan

It’s a bumpy road in the State Senate as well, where the Democratic Majority Leader Sen. Bob Duff (D-Norwalk) remains on the fence and says he still doesn’t know what the toll costs would be to average motorists or where they would be.

He said, “The issue for me is; the fact of where, when, how and how much is it going to cost?”

Sen. Carlo Leone (D-Stamford) is on the inside of this. He is co-chair of the Transportation Committee.

He stated, “We’re making sure that we address the issues of discounts for folks on the lower economic spectrum, so, I think we’re close to an agreement on how to do that, there are still several options.”

There’s also an option to have the gas tax drop a penny at a time, if the final plan raises enough money from tolls. But, as you can see, there’s still a lot of significant bumps in this road.

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