HARTFORD — Senate Democrats have released a draft of the toll bill Monday evening.
Here are some of the main takeaways from the 32-page draft:
- Tolls only apply to large commercial trucks.
- The DOT commissioner will set initial rates between $6 and no more than $13.
- A Transportation Policy Council would be established. The DOT would not be able to raise rates without approval from this council.
- An informational hearing is scheduled for January 31. It is public and you can go and comment if you would like to have your voice heard.
The bill calls for 12 toll gantries on Connecticut bridges that are in need of updates because of aging infrastructure.
The locations include I-84 in Waterbury near the Mixmaster junction with Route 8, I-84 in West Hartford, I-95 in Stamford, and I-95 at the Gold Star Memorial Bridge.
Governor Lamont spoke Monday about getting a vote on tolls done in a special session before the regular session starts the first week in February.
“I think people are ready to vote,” said Lamont. “They`re ready to get this done, get it done before our February 5 speech.”
Lamont and supportive lawmakers began to coalesce last month around the idea of only tolling trucks after previous plans to toll other vehicles, including passenger cars, faltered.
It still remains uncertain whether a 10-year, $19.4 billion transportation plan that includes tolls as a way to generate part of the needed revenue can ultimately clear the legislature. The state would also pursue low-cost federal loans.
Republicans remain opposed to any proposal that brings tolls back to Connecticut's highways.
You can read the draft of the bill below: