Governor Ned Lamont dropping a bombshell Wednesday afternoon, announcing due to the House and Senate’s failure to take a vote on truck-only tolls, he will move the state forward -without tolls- for now.
An aggravated Governor Ned Lamont held a last minute news conference Wednesday where he announced he’s hitting the pause button on pushing for truck-only tolls in the state.
His announcement came after the House and Senate failed to take a vote as expected this week, instead Senate Democrats requested an extension.
Shortly before the press conference, Senate leadership released a statement saying:
““In light of a potential unprecedented two-day, 30-hour-long debate, the senate democrats asked for five more days for our senators to prepare.. We are still confident that senate democrats have the votes to pass a comprehensive transportation plan.”
“They've asked for another week, another month, for let's say six months, so I said finally enough,” Lamont said.
Lamont said he’s moving forward with his $19 billion transportation plan to fix the state's aging infrastructure issues without tolls, instead turning now to bonding- borrowing money from the state.
“I hate to do it this way. It's bonding in place of other things that are priorities but right now there's no other option on the table,” Lamont said.
Democratic House Speaker Joe Aresimowicz released the following statement:
“Over the past four weeks of trying to coordinate the scenario and date to pass a truck-only tolls transportation plan, it has become very clear that the political will to act was not there. I advised the governor that he needs to do what he has to do, and legislators will have to accept whatever plan he decides to go with now.”
Republicans, who have long been opposed to any form of tolling in the state, reacted to the Governor’s decision.
“I don't believe there are the votes, i think there some democrats that feel everything should be tolled others who believe truck should be tolled and maybe that is where the rub is on the votes,” Senate Republican Minority Leader Len Fasano said.
The Governor said there could still be a vote on truck-only tolls in the future, but that lies in the hands of legislators.
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