Lawmaker says tolls “inevitable” for Connecticut

HARTFORD, Conn. (WTNH) — With days to go in the legislative session, House Democratic leaders said their push to bring tolls to Connecticut is not dead yet. The House Majority Leader Matt Ritter (D-Hartford), went as far to guarantee that electronic tolling will come to our state, regardless of which political party is in control over the next five years.

“Tolls are inevitable,” Ritter said. Whether you have Republican or Democratic governor, they’ll be here in the next five years.”

Democrats said both parties agree that our Special Transportation Fund will have serious deficit issues in the coming years. They said without tolls, ideas on how to replenish those funds for infrastructure projects are slim.

“I’ve seen no plans other than tolls currently that’ll put money that we need into Special Transportation Funds so that we can complete infrastructure improvements,” said Speaker of the House Joe Aresimonwicz (D-Berlin). “So it’s very easy to say no. But I need to hear ‘yes’, or ‘I have this other idea.'”

Republican House leaders remain steadfast that right now the votes from their party just aren’t there.

“These are just revenue grabs,” said House Minority Leader Themis Klarides (R-Seymour). “And this is blurring the line and blurring the real message that Connecticut can’t control their fiscal house and that’s what’s gotten us in the situation in the past.”

Somehow if this bill for electronic tolling passes and ends up on Governor Malloy’s desk, he said it is highly unlikely he would sign it, unless it has language protecting his long-sought after transportation lock-box. 

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