HARTFORD- The heated debate surrounding tolls in Connecticut continues as Democrats announced they are now not on board with tolling cars, instead they want Governor Ned Lamont to consider a trucks-only toll.
House Majority Leader Matt Ritter is asking Governor Lamont to consider truck-tolls on 12 of the 14 bridges in the Governor’s transportation proposal CT2030---a plan Lamont pitched just last week.
Ritter said Democrats will no longer consider tolling passenger cars and a truck-only tolling system would bring in a substantial amount of money to aid Connecticut’s transportation infrastructure. He also said trucks driving through the state are responsible for 80% of the damage to Connecticut's highways.
“Look at Rhode Island, New York, New Jersey, depends on what you do, it depends on the rates that you charge, but if they were somewhat equal, we’re told it could be somewhere between $100-$150 million,” Ritter said.
“They’re going to pay tolls in any other state in New England except Vermont, so why are they getting to drive from New York to Boston without having to pay in Connecticut,” Hartford resident Justin Zartman said.
Some residents who are against the plan said it’s trucks for now, but fear cars will be next if the plan moves forward.
“No tolls, because tolls on trucks will become tolls on cars,” Plainville resident Cherie Juhnke said.
Just last week Senate Republicans unveiled an alternative to Lamont’s plan--- “Fastr CT”--- which has no tolls or new taxes, but does expose the state to more risks in the event of a crisis.
“House Democrats are welcome to bring forward whatever ideas they have, but this is not a plan, this is a concept," said Senate Republican Leader Len Fasano.
Governor Lamont is calling on all caucuses to bring their proposals to a meeting in his office as soon as possible.